By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Liberal Party (LP) lambasted on Friday Malacanang spokesman Salvador Panelo for siding with China on the Philippine territories in the contested Spratly island chain in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“Secretary Panelo strikes again. Recently, he was quoted as saying that we should thank China for setting up a maritime rescue center in the Philippines’ Kagitingan Reef,’’ Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, LP president, said.
Pangilinan said Panelo was the same official who, early this month, said it was alright for the Chinese to fish in Spratly.’’
“He also called the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that validated the Philippines’ claims on the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea as ‘useless as there is no country or body on earth that can enforce’ it against China,’’ he added.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza said the UN court ruling favoring the Philippines was ‘’final and binding.’’
Chinese leaders have stated that they were not surrendering an inch of their territory since their country has historical ownership islands in the South China Sea.
Pangilinan said he sometimes wonder which country Panelo was speaking for.
“His every tone clearly manifests the language of a Chinese puppet,’’ he pointed out.