Detained Senator Leila De Lima called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to defy President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to halt the construction of the building shed for the military in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“To the officers men of the AFP, you have a long history of heroes and patriots. You should know treason when it rears its ugly head in your motherland. There is no more treasonous conduct and act of betrayal than relinquishing our Spratlys territories in the midst of an international decision saying we have every right to hold on to and defend those islands and atolls as part of our Exclusive Economic Zone, to the exclusion of China,” De Lima said.
The Senator said that the President is fast becoming the “proverbial Mancharian Candidate” of the country.
“China keeps building, while our President behaves like a good lapdog to his Chinese masters and orders his own military to stop building sheds for troops defending the country’s sovereignty. The AFP should take note that their Commander-in-Chief is fast becoming, if he is not yet, the proverbial Manchurian Candidate,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Since when has the AFP taken orders conveyed from the generals of the People’s Liberation Army? Since when has our military become a mere sub-unit of the PLA, our generals forced to swallow and follow treasonous orders that practically ask them to abandon their posts and betray the national interest?” she added.
De Lima also recalled the victory of the Philippines at the International Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and stressed that the victory should serve as the framework in dealing the fight on the WPS.
“We are backed up by international law, the UNCLOS, an unprecedented victory in an international case, and the support of the world’s largest democracies. Only our Chinese lackey of a President continues to betray us and our victory, dragging with him the whole Armed Forces who still think they are following orders from a Filipino commander-in-chief, instead of a Chinese lapdog,” De Lima said.
De Lima said that the AFP should be aware that there might be no turning back from Duterte’s policy of “subservience or defeatism.”
“It could be that the status quo of Chinese dominance and Philippines’ defaulting in the Spratlys is firmly irreversible. In the future, despite Duterte, it will only have itself to blame for this most unfortunate state of affairs, where the Filipinos’ own defenders, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has allowed itself to become a mere annex of the People’s Liberation Army, as led by China’s Manchurian Candidate in the Philippines,” she said.