Protest against Chinese incursion at WPS staged on Independence Day

Published June 12, 2021, 5:11 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Members of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) rode a mock-up jet-ski in front of the Chinese Embassy in Makati City on Saturday, June 12, to condemn Chinese incursion in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

(Photo from CEGP)

The group also slammed President Duterte’s “deliberate neglect” to uphold the country’s sovereign rights “in the name of foreign loans, investments, and in vaccines.”

“It is unlikely that we would be able to retrieve our waters from China, not especially under the puppet regime of Mr. Duterte who keeps on kowtowing to the Asian superpower. It would be easier to diplomatically and decisively assert our sovereign rights if a President is not subservient and could stand up to foreign aggressors,” PAMALAKAYA leader Ronnel Arambulo said.

In a statement, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) also denounced the “blatant attacks of China against Philippine sovereignty.”

“Its looming imperialist aggression must be stopped because it is the Filipino people who bravely face the consequences of their inhumane policies. In these hard trying times, we must remain vigilant, especially if we cannot rely on our government since they are the perpetrators of Chinese intrusion,” CEGP said.

Citing Filipino fishermen who have been driven away from fishing grounds by Chinese maritime militia vessels, Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) Spokesperson Liza Maza berated Duterte’s “complicity” in letting China asserts its invalid nine-dash line claims and occupy areas of the WPS.

“To give up territorial rights is surrendering sovereign rights. Coming from the President himself, it is treasonous,” Maza said.

Meanwhile, environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment estimated that the intrusion of China to build military installations at the WPS has resulted in the destruction of around 16,000 hectares of coral reef, which has cost P1.3 trillion in damages annually.

It added that exploration at WPS was leading to the loss of around 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 130 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Beijing’s claim on WPS, including areas under the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, was declared illegal in July 2016 by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration following a lawsuit filed by Manila in 2013.

China, however, does not recognize the ruling.