Zambales fishermen: Nobody wants to go to war with China
SAN ANTONIO, Zambales — Fisherman Bobby Roldan from Masinloc town said he was no longer surprised about President Rodrigo Duterte’s “worn-out narrative” on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26.
Duterte said he could not do anything with the arbitral ruling despite being pushed to do something about it, saying it was “more than what I can handle.”
“What will I do with a document that is not binding? China was not a part of that arbitration. There was really no arbitration at all because it was only the Philippine side,” Duterte said in his speech.
Duterte added: “Ano ang gusto nila? Makipag-giyera?…Do you want war against China?
But Roldan said Duterte’s remark was “an excuse to justify his cowardice and deliberate neglect to uphold our national sovereignty and territorial rights.”
“As usual, Duterte dichotomizes the assertion of our legal rights in the West Philippine Sea by equating it with an armed confrontation against China,” Roldan, also vice chair for Central Luzon of fisherfolk group Pamalakaya, told the Inquirer in a text message.
According to Roldan, fishermen had been insisting that “nobody wants to have war against China or any foreign countries.”
“What we have been asserting since day one is a decisive assertion stemming from a strong political will of our exclusive rights in our exclusive economic zone,” he said.
He added: “Duterte should be condemned as a national traitor for consistently being an enabler of Chinese aggression and imperialist plunder of our territorial seas.” INQ
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