‘How long can we take the bullying of China?’ – Lacson
MANILA, Philippines— How long can the Philippines take China’s bullying?
Senator Panfilo Lacson did not mince words on Tuesday when he branded as “bullying” the ramming and sinking of an anchored Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel last June 9 at Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
Lacson reiterated that the incident was a test of both patience and respect.
“Respect on the part of the Chinese government towards an ally which is the Philippines; and patience on the part of our government,” he said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“How long can we take the bullying of China, hindi lang sa fishermen; the Filipinos themselves ‘di ba?” said the senator.
Asked if it was clear that the Philippines is being bullied by China, Lacson said: “We’re being bullied. That’s clear enough. Hindi lang ito ang incident.”
The senator repeated this in another interview at the Senate. He was asked if he considers the Chinese vessel’s ramming of the Filipino boat as bullying.
“Hindi lang consider. Talagang bullying,” Lacson said.
What made the issue worse, he said, was when the Chinese crew abandoned the 22 Filipino fishermen in the high seas placing their lives at risk.
And like a small boy being bullied by a neighbor, Lacson said the Philippines should run to its “big brother” for help.
“And for the longest time, the US was our big brother. At nariyan ang treaty may basehan naman tayo. So why don’t we use that?” he said, referring to the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States.
Lacson, in the Senate interview, also claimed receiving information – although not yet validated – that the June 9 incident was a “test” by China to see how the Philippines would react to such situation.
“We were tested kung ano magiging reaction. As things are developing, we’re failing the test. The leadership itself ang reaction parang pabor na pabor sa China,” he said.
The senator likewise accused China of lying when it claimed that the ramming was an accident, noting how the captain of the Chinese boat tried to rescue the Filipino crew.
“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by seven or eight Filipino fishing boats,” the Chinese embassy said in an earlier statement.
But Lacson said in the CNN Philippines interview: “Clearly they’re lying. And it’s even worse because the Chinese government itself is in a cover-up operation even deceiving an ally that is the Philippines. They should really come clean.” (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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