Robredo questions terms of friendship with China  | Inquirer News

Robredo questions terms of friendship with China 

/ 07:12 PM April 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday questioned the true nature of the country’s relationship with China amid its continuing aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine government on Wednesday filed two diplomatic protests against Beijing’s establishment of two districts in the South China Sea and its aiming of weapons at a Philippine Navy ship near Rizal (Commodore) Reef.

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The protests filed by the Philippines came as China has started using the coronavirus crisis for diplomacy by donating supplies and medical equipment.

It even sent a team of doctors to the Philippines to help the Philippines combat coronavirus disease.

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Days after the recent diplomatic protests filed by the Philippines, the Chinese embassy in Manila released a feel-good music video on China’s efforts to help the Philippines curb the spread of coronavirus, also sparked outrage among netizens. The song titled, “Iisang Dagat” (One Sea) hit a nerve, as it appeared to be a subtle assertion of Beijing’s claims over the South China Sea.

China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea have also caused Robredo to cast doubts on China’s true intentions.

“Sinasabi natin na kaibigan natin, pero ‘di ba kapag magkaibigan kayo, nagrerespetuhan? Marami silang ginagawa na disrespect sa sovereignty ng bansa natin. So iyong tanong: Iyan ba ang kaibigan?” Robredo said on her radio program Biserbisyong Leni.

(We’re saying that they are our friends. But friends respect each other, right? They are doing plenty of disrespectful actions violating our sovereignty. The question is: Is that what you call a friend?)

She hoped that the Philippine government would be more consistent in its actions, saying that the diplomatic protests should be made felt, too, to gain respect.

“Sana mas maging consistent tayo, mas maging consistent na kung may kasalanan na ginagawa sa atin, iparamdam natin. iparamdam natin iyong pagprotesta natin, para respetuhin tayo. Kasi kung… kung… parang sinasantabi lang natin, lalo tayong hindi rerespetuhin,” Robredo said.

(I hope we’ll be more consistent. If they did something wrong to us, we should make our protest felt, so that we will gain their respect. Because if we downplay it, they would disrespect us even more.)

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While she said the Philippine government has not been entirely transparent with its diplomatic protests against China, she lauded their recent move.

“Mabuti naman na mayroong diplomatic protest, kasi ito iyong naging isyu for some time noong mga nakaraan, ‘di ba? Na ang daming violation sa sovereignty, parang hindi nagpoprotesta,” she said.

(It’s good that a diplomatic protest was filed because this had been an issue for some time. That there were so many violations of our sovereignty, but it seemed protests were not sent to them.)

/MUF
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TAGS: China, OVP, robredo, South China sea, Vice President, West Philippine Sea
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