‘Duwag o traydor’? Hontiveros hits Duterte for ‘surrendering’ PH’s sovereignty
MANILA, Philippines — Is President Rodrigo Duterte a coward or a traitor?
Senator Risa Hontiveros asked this Tuesday as she hit the President for supposedly surrendering the Philippines’ sovereignty to China amid its continued aggressions in the West Philippine Sea.
“Sinusuko na ng Presidente ang soberanya ng Pilipinas,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(The President is already surrendering the sovereignty of the Philippines.)
“Duwag ba siya o traydor? Either way, he has failed our country. He has failed to defend our sovereignty, our seas, our people. Handa man siyang isuko ang Pilipinas, hinding-hindi naman susuko ang mga Pilipino,” she also said.
(Is he a coward or a traitor? Either way, he has failed our country. He has failed to defend our sovereignty, our seas, our people. He may be ready to surrender the Philippines, the Filipino people will never give up the country’s sovereignty.)
Hontiveros issued this statement after the President insisted that the only way to regain control over the West Philippine Sea was by force.
“Nakakahiyang marinig na mismong ang Commander-in-Chief ng Pilipinas ang pasimuno ng mistulang pagbigay ng ating teritoryo sa China. Sabi niya dati, mag-jejetski siya papuntang West Philippine Sea, hindi naman ginawa. Wala pa rin nga siyang ginagawa, tapos surrender na kaagad?” she added.
(It’s embarrassing to hear how the Philippines’ Commander-in-Chief is the one who appears to be giving up our territory to China. He previously said he would hop on a jetski to the West Philippine Sea which he did not do. He has yet to do anything but he’s already surrendering?)
Before his presidential victory in 2016, Duterte who was then Davao City mayor said he would take a jet ski to the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea and plant the Philippine flag there.
But later on, he said the public should not expect him to do it as his remarks were just a hyperbole to show his stance that the Philippine government would not give up any of its territories to China.
Hontiveros said Duterte could not even condemn China’s aggressions in the disputed waters.
“Ano pang silbi ng presidenteng inutil?” (What’s the sense of having a useless President?)
“We should not allow a president who gives up our sovereignty like loose change. We should not accept a president who thinks the only way out of this dispute is through war. Walang may gusto ng giyera,” Hontiveros said.
“This President swore an oath to defend the constitution and the Philippine nation. A constitution that renounces war as an instrument of national policy. So if a ‘war’ he cannot wage is the only way he can think of to confront China, then that betrays the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the highest office of the land,” she added.
Duterte, who has been long criticized for his seeming warm stance with China, had always said that he would not be willing to engage in a war that would be costly for the country.
In his pre-recorded speech, Duterte said he would only send warships to the West Philippine Sea once China starts drilling for oil and taking other resources from the area.
This was the first time Duterte spoke about the West Philippine Sea issue since hundreds of Chinese militia vessels were spotted in the Julian Felipe Reef which prompted the Department of Foreign Affairs to summon Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian over China’s lingering presence in the disputed waters.
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