Duterte has given up on PH sovereignty, Hontiveros says

Published April 20, 2021, 12:38 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday, April 20, said it is now a fact that President Duterte has given up on Philippines’ sovereignty in favor of China.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The opposition senator said the President’s remarks on the West Philippine Sea issue during his speech Monday night reveals he has no plans for his government to fight back against China’s incursions in the country’s own maritime territory.

“Sinusuko na ng Presidente ang soberanya ng Pilipinas. Nakakahiyang marinig na mismong ang Commander-in-Chief ng Pilipinas ang pasimuno ng mistulang pagbigay ng ating teritoryo sa China (The President has given up the Philippines’ sovereignty. It’s disheartening to hear from the Commander-in-chief himself that he is giving up our territory for China),” Hontiveros said in a statement.

“Sabi niya dati, mag-jejetski siya papuntang West Philippine Sea, hindi naman ginawa. Wala parin nga siyang ginagawa, tapos surrender na kaagad (He said before that he will ride a jetski going to the West Philippine Sea but he did nothing. He did nothing and all he is doing now is to surrender immediately)?” she lamented.

“The President may see no other option other than letting China take control of our waters, but the Filipino people are not ready to give up. My colleagues in the Senate, military officers, business groups, fisherfolk, civil society organizations, and numerous individuals have strongly condemned China’s aggression in the WPS,” the senator said.

Hontiveros said the people should not allow a President who gives up the country’s sovereignty like loose change.

“We should not accept a President who thinks the only way out of this dispute is through war. Walang may gusto ng giyera (Nobody wants war). This President swore an oath to defend the constitution and the Philippine nation. A Constitution that renounces war as an instrument of national policy,” she stressed.

Even the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has expressed its readiness to ask other allies for help, Hontiveros pointed out.

“So if a ‘war’ he cannot wage is the only way he can think of to confront China, then that betrays the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the highest office of the land,” she said.

“But our President himself has no moral courage. Our diplomatic and legislative rights may be eroded because our own President cannot stand up for them,”

“Duwag ba sya o traydor (Is he a coward or a traitor)? Either way, he has failed our country. He has failed to defend our sovereignty, our seas, our people.”

“Handa man siyang isuko ang Pilipinas, hinding-hindi naman susuko ang mga Pilipino (but while he is ready to surrender the country, the Filipinos are not surrendering),” Hontiveros said.