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LOOK: China flag hoisted at House to welcome Chinese execs, a ‘first’ in PH, solon claims

/ 02:14 PM September 10, 2018

Photo by Pathricia Ann Roxas, INQUIRER.net

The national flag of the People’s Republic of China was hoisted side-by-side the Philippine national flag in front of the House of Representatives building in Quezon City on Monday.

A banner welcoming Ji Bingxuan, the Vice Chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China, was also posted in front of the House’s main entrance.

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The flags and the banner were removed on the same day at around 2:00 p.m.

Bingxuan and other NPC members were at the House of Representatives earlier in the day to visit Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

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Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu and Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said they were not aware of the visit’s details, as well as the chamber’s protocol when it comes to welcoming foreign dignitaries.

However, Batocabe said he thinks this was the first time a foreign flag was hoisted in front of the House.

“Sa pagkaalam ko siguro una ‘yan. Siguro po sa susunod hindi lang po pag Chinese ‘yung bisita natin, I think dapat laging gawin para hindi na po masabi na nagbibigay po tayo ng special attention sa China,” Batocabe said in a press briefing.

“I think (it’s) because of the new leadership… But I do hope that will apply to all visitors from foreign countries. Hindi lang po pwede na sa China (lang), otherwise, makikita po na binabalingan po natin ang China,” he further said.

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Marikina 2nd District Rep. Romero Quimbo, an opposition lawmaker, said he also couldn’t recall a similar incident where a foreign flag was hoisted in front of the House of Representatives in the last five years.

“Wala kong maalala but I can’t really say… I don’t recall in the last five years,” he told reporters.

‘Normal and not the first’

Meanwhile, the director of the House Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Special Affairs Bureau (IPRSAB), Edith Cardenas, said it is “normal” for the Philippine government to “accord honor to high-ranking foreign dignitaries like the Vice Chair of China National People’s Congress.”

Cardenas also said that to her recollection, this was not the first time that a foreign flag was hoisted at the House of Representatives.

Arroyo’s office said Bingxua and NPC members paid the Speaker a courtesy call.

The Speaker met them shortly but Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap represented her during the meeting.

They discussed the further strengthening of relations between the Philippines and China, particularly in the fields of agriculture, trade, infrastructure, education, and culture and the arts.   /vvp

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