Bersamin takes swipe at country’s too much dependence on foreign help
MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Wednesday reminded Filipinos not to forget the blood and sacrifices of our ancestors who fought for the country’s freedom from the tyrannical rule of foreign conquerors.
But later in his speech during the 121st Independence Day rites at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine in Caloocan City, Bersamin made a stinging remark against the country’s habit to rely too much on foreign assistance.
“Lagi natin tandaan na nakamit natin ang kalayaan at kasarinlan bilang isang bansa sa pagdanak ng dugo ng ating mga bayaning ninuno. Huwag nating balewalain ang kanilang sukdulang pagpapakasakit,” the Chief Justice said.
[Let us always put in mind that we won our independence because of the blood and sacrifices of our ancestors. Let us not disregard their sacrifices.]
The Chief Justice said the country should not rely on foreigners in addressing the country’s needs.
“Huwag natin ugaliing umasa sa mga dayuhan sa paglutas sa ating mga hamon at pagsubok,” Bersamin said, adding that only the country and its people can work for its development.
[We should not make it a habit to rely too much on foreigners to resolve our problems and challenges.]
He added that some nations offering assistance to the country were doing so out of their own vested interest.
“Kung may tumulong na iba, welcome basta walang kondisyon. Kung China…mga Amerikano gusto tumulong, tumulong sila, walang kondisyon,” he said.
[We welcome those who wanted to help as long as there is no condition. If China, America want to help, they can but no condition.]
The Chief Justice was asked if he was referring to the Duterte administration’s close ties with China as well as its inaction on China’s aggressive activities in the West Philippine Sea. However, he declined to comment, saying there is a pending related case on the matter before the high court.
Fisherfolk from Palawan went to the Supreme Court asking that it compel the government to protect the country’s waters. An oral argument is set on June 25. (Editor: Abe Cerojano)
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