Palace assures violent anti-China protests won’t happen in PH
MANILA, Philippines—Amid violent rallies and torching of factories by anti-China protesters in Vietnam, Malacañang on Sunday assured the public that police will be able to maintain peace and order in the country, especially during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia.
“Natalakay na po ang mga plano. Ito po ay komprehensibo at malinaw ang direktiba ni Pangulong (Benigno) Aquino sa Philippine National Police na gawin ang lahat ng nararapat para maging maayos ang pagdaraos dito niyang WEF East Asia,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over state-run DzRB.
(The plans have been discussed. President Benigno Aquino III’s comprehensive and clear directive to the Philippine National Police is to do everything to make sure that the staging of WEF East Asia here goes smoothly.)
Coloma said law enforcement authorities will implement steps to maintain order in areas where the protests will be held.
“Syempre po nandiyan ‘yung panawagan sa ating mga mamamayan na magdaraos nito na sumunod din sa mga patakaran ng tahimik na pamamahayag at mga requirements po ng ating batas hinggil diyan,” he added.
(Of course we are also calling on our citizens to peacefully exercise their freedom of expression and to follow the law.)
He said the government and the public should work together so attention would be focused on the message instead of violent protests.
Civil society groups in Vietnam have been protesting China’s oil rig deployment on a disputed area near Paracel Island. Some protesters attacked foreign-owned factories as many called for the recall of Chinese state energy firm CNOOC’s oil rig, which was towed by dozens of Chinese ships 240 kilometers off Vietnam’s coast. The said area was being claimed by both Vietnam and China.
The Philippines is among the countries in Asia that has had territorial spats with China. Recently, it arrested Chinese fishermen for allegedly poaching turtles from within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The WEF on East Asia will be held in the Philippine for the first time. Around 600 government, business and civil society leaders will be in Manila for the international event.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Burmese Vice President U Nyan Tun are expected to grace the proceedings.
Reports said China will be skipping the WEF on East Asia.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.