MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday expressed “serious concern” on the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the country’s win against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is just a “piece of paper” to be thrown away in the wastebasket.
In her weekly radio program, the Vice President said she was also bothered by the President’s claim that China is in possession of the West Philippine Sea.
“May dalawang sinabi si Presidente na tingin ko very serious, very serious iyong concern ko,” the vice president said in her program in DZXL. (The President has said two things that I think are very serious.)
“Iyong number one, iyong pagsabi niyang iyong desisyon ng arbitral tribunal ay mere scrap of paper,” she explained. “Number two na serious iyong aking concern ay iyong sinabi niya iyong China ang may possession ng West Philippine Sea. Hindi iyon totoo.”
(Number one, is his statement that the decision of the arbitral tribunal is just a ‘mere scrap of paper. Number two which is another serious concern is when he said China is in possession of the West Philippine Sea. That’s not true.)
Robredo said the arbitral decision should “not be taken lightly.”
“Kasarinlan natin saka sovereignty iyong pinag-uusapan dito, na hindi mo puwedeng i-take lightly iyong naging desisyon, kasi kaya tayo umabot sa ganoong punto dahil sa pananakop sa mga pag-aari natin. Napakalaking win iyon sa atin,” she stressed.
(We are talking about our independence and sovereignty here, and we should not take the decision lightly, because we are to that point because our territories are occupied. That [decision] is a very big win for us.)
The Vice President also said she is just restraining herself from commenting on political matters to focus on the COVID-19 surge.
“Umiiwas akong magkomento ng anything political ngayong nag-2nd surge, kasi para sa akin, dapat all hands on deck tayo ngayon, dahil malala iyong pinagdadaanan natin as far as COVID is concerned,” she explained.
(I have avoided commenting on anything political especially there is a surge We should be all hands on deck now because we are going through something worse as far as COVID-19 is concerned.)
“Pero iyong statements na iyon, iyong dalawang statements na iyon, seryoso iyon. Seryoso siya kasi mali. Seryoso siya kasi iyong sovereignty na natin iyong parang tinatapon mo sa labas ng bintana,” she said.
(But those two statements are serious, because they are wrong. It is serious because it is as if our sovereignty is being thrown out of the window.)
“Para sa akin, iyong dalawang statements na iyon ay hindi na bansa natin iyong — may pagkiling na talaga, may pagkiling na sa China,” she lamented.
(For me, those two statements are not for our country, there is now bias for China.)