Lacson says gov’t response to Recto Bank incident ‘kulang, malamya’
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday said the Philippine government’s reaction to the ramming by a Chinese vessel of a fishing boat manned by Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea is “kulang at malamya” (inadequate and weak).
Lacson said President Duterte’s stand on maritime incident was not as “strong-willed” as his stand on other key, pressing issues and concerns.
“Kulang at malamya. Alam naman natin ang attitude ng Pangulo na matigas, maski pare, maski European countries, Canada, mga ibang issue,” Lacson said in an interview over radio dzBB.
(Inadequate and weak. We know that the President’s attitude is always a tough one, be it against priests, European countries, Canada and other issues.)
“Kung ikukumpara natin yan, relatively speaking, malamya at kulang na kulang ang tugon ng ating Pangulo mismo rito,” he added.
Lacson speculated that an “economic” reason could be behind the President’s soft stance on the issue as he tries to “preserve” bilateral relations with China.
“Pero at what cost? Ang tanong natin ano ba mas matimbang? Ang ating sovereign rights o economic upliftment ng ating kababayan? Alam na natin ang sagot doon siyempre,” he added.
(But at what cost? The question is, what is more important, our sovereignty or economic gains? We all know the answer to that, of course.)
Lacson earlier said that the President “left us heartbroken” after the latter described the sinking as a “little maritime incident.”
Lacson likewise aired his apprehension over the joint investigation of the two countries on the maritime incident, pointing out that the Philippines has sovereign rights over Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea where the incident took place.
Malacañang said the President has accepted the offer of the Chinese government to have a joint probe.
The Palace, however, added that Duterte wants the participation of a neutral third country in the probe. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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