PH gov’t told to ‘popularize’ 2016 PCA ruling on South China Sea than targeting ‘Barbie’
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino fishermen’s group has called on the government to “popularize in different venues” the Philippines’ 2016 arbitral victory in the South China Sea than nitpick on the “Barbie” movie.
The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) believed that the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should strongly assert the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity instead of yielding to suggestions to ban the fictional film over its depiction of China’s nine-dash line claim.
“A single scene in a film doesn’t have any bearing [on] what the Filipino fishers believe and stand for – that the West Philippine Sea is indisputably ours and ours alone. The Philippine government should instead popularize in different venues the 2016 arbitral ruling, as a way to uphold our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap said in a statement.
The group added that the administration “would appear much tougher if it confronts China” about its trespasses in the West Philippine Sea.
Several senators were outraged by the depiction of China’s nine-dash line claim in the Barbie movie, with some calling for a ban on its screening in the Philippines.
“The Marcos administration would appear much tougher if it directly confronts China every time the latter causes an untoward incident in our territorial waters, rather than picking on a fictional film. For instance, Marcos should protest the recent harassment of Chinese vessel against Philippine Coast Guard in Ayungin Shoal,” Hicap said.
The Pamalakaya leader refers to an incident when Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to Philippine Coast Guard ships last week.
“As for the Filipino fishers, we won’t be spending even a minute nitpicking on a detail in a fictional film. We’re too busy walking our talk and safeguarding our fishing grounds,” Hicap said.