Vice presidential aspirant and House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza stated in a news forum that Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson had succeeded in embarrassing President Rodrigo Duterte by planting the Philippine flag in a West Philippine sea island over the weekend.
Atienza, runningmate of Promdi presidential bet Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, said Lacson had made his point and made clear his position on the WPH sea dispute.
“I agree with senator’s manifestation of his decision,” the BUHAY partylist solon told reporters during the Pandesal Forum on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
Atienza said he and Pacquiao have the same position about the Philippines’ ownership of certain territories over the WPS but do not believe this can be pursued by just going to Pagasa or any area claimed by the Philippines.
“Manny Pacquiao and I need go to any of the islands. I know we will fight for what our country owns in the best we can by going to the United Nations,” the veteran administration lawmaker stated.
“Ang gagawin natin ay seryosohin natin ang paninindigan sa UN. Nandoon ang tunay na laban. (What we need to do is to seriously pursue our stand before the UN. That is where the real fight is),” stated Atienza.
He said Lacson had made his point clear and in the process was able to embarrass Duterte.
It will be recalled that during the presidential debates in 2016, Duterte impressed many Filipinos by declaring that he intended to plant the PH flag in a dispute areas by simply going there on a jetski.
However, the chief executive’s has failed to put into action his boasts as China allegedly continued to commit numerous protested actions apparently aimed at weakening the Philippines’ victory before the 2016 arbitral tribunal on the WPS issue.
On Monday, Duterte surprised critics when he declared his disgust over the Ayungin Shoal water cannoning incident.
“We abhor the recent event in the Ayungin Shoal and view with grave concern other similar developments. This does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership, Duterte said during the ASEAN-China Special Summit.