Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday, June 12, urged Filipinos to continue defending the Philippines’ sovereignty and reject leaders who are tolerating China’s incursions of its territory.
In her Independence Day statement, De Lima said the public should “preserve our sovereignty in honor of our heroes”.
The detained lawmaker recalled that Duterte issued the same appeal in his first Independence Day message as President.
“Now, he talks about a win-win cooperation with China for greater peace, progress, and prosperity. ‘Yan ang basura, hindi ang ating makasaysayang panalo sa arbitration case laban sa China ukol sa West Philippine Sea (That is what’s trash, not our victory in the arbitration case against Chine regarding the West Philippine Sea),” De Lima said, alluding to Duterte’s previous remarks comparing the 2016 arbitral award to a mere scrap of paper.
De Lima said the Philippines would end up a “a nation of orphans and a generation of beggars living on crumbs from China’s banquet”, adding this would be Duterte’s “legacy” to the country.
“So yes, Mr. President, in honor of our heroes and all those who sacrificed their lives so we may be free from your tyranny, we are taking back what is rightfully ours by ensuring that no Duterte or any of your ilk will ever set foot in Malacañang again,” she told Duterte, who is being pushed to run for vice presidency in the 2022 elections.
“We will not allow another six years of killing the poor, persecuting the innocent, and unabashed subservience to China’s plundering,” she stressed.
On Friday, De Lima slammed Duterte for citing the “deep and abiding” friendship of the Philippines and China amid the latter’s continuing incursions in the West Philippine Sea.