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ON THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF PHILIPPINES’ WIN VS CHINA AT THE HAGUE

Opposition senators hit Duterte admin’s ‘selective sovereignty’

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 04:13 PM July 12, 2019
Opposition senators hit Duterte admin’s ‘selective sovereignty’

DISPUTED TERRITORY A Filipino fishing vessel ventures into the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. —REM ZAMORA

MANILA, Philippines — On the third anniversary of the Philippines’ victory over its claims in the West Philippine Sea, members of the opposition slammed what it described as continuing kowtowing of the Duterte administration to China.

“Panalo tayo. Nakuha na natin ang trophy three years ago. Bakit parang binibigay pa natin sa tinalo natin?” Senator Francis Pangilinan stressed in a statement Friday, July 12.

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“Kaya tuloy, simula nang nag-pivot ang Pilipinas pa-China, naging mas agresibo ang ating higanteng kapit-bansa sa asta nito sa West Philippine Sea,” he added. “Ang pagbangga at paglubog sa bangkang GemVer sa Recto Bank ang pinakahuling pambubully nito.”

READ: PH wins arbitration case over South China Sea

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The senator was referring to the June 9 incident where a Chinese vessel reportedly rammed and sunk an anchored Filipino fishing boat near Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea. The Chinese crew also abandoned the 22 Filipino fishers, who held on for dear life in the open sea for several hours until rescued by the Vietnamese.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, for her part, condemned President Rodrigo Duterte for “continuing to bow to China” despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling, which invalidated Beijing’s nine-dash line that covers almost the entire South China Sea including the West Philippine Sea.

“This government’s brand of selective sovereignty is on full display,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement.

“Whenever the international community holds the Duterte government accountable for the human rights abuses under its watch, it falsely invokes sovereignty to avoid them.”

“But when an actual issue of sovereign rights and territorial defense is literally at our shores, it is as silent as a watery grave,” she also pointed out.

Meanwhile, staunch Duterte critic Senator Leila De Lima encouraged the people to unite as Filipinos in the face of a pro-China administration.

She also asked the people to let love for the country prevail.

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“Sa panahong muling nilalapastangan ang ating pambansang dangal, ipinagkakait ng mga dayuhan ang kabuhayan at hinahayaang mapahamak at mamatay ang ating mga kababayan; sa termino ng isang Pangulo at mga kaalyado nitong maka-Tsino kaysa maka-Pilipino, kailangan nating tumindig bilang nagkakaisang mamamayan,” De Lima said.

“Panatilihin po sana nating nag-aalab at buhay sa ating puso’t isipan ang pagmamahal sa Inang Bayan,” she added. /kga

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