Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan lambasted the Duterte administration’s display of a seemingly “nonchalant attitude” over China’s militarization of the disputed South China Sea.
“We are deeply troubled that instead of expressing outrage, Malacañang displayed a nonchalant attitude in playing down China’s militarization of the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea,” Pangilinan said.
The statement is his response to the remarks of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in which he said that there is nothing left to do but “extract a promise from China not to reclaim any new artificial islands”
“It disturbs every Filipino to hear the Malacañang spokesman relying on China’s mere words that it would not reclaim new islands, thus, we can sleep soundly at night. It’s like telling Filipinos not to worry because while China constructed a building, it would only stay on the ground floor,” Pangilinan said.
He added that every time the Philippine government says “it cannot stop China from militarizing its artificial islands, or from undertaking new reclamation, it is actually telling China to proceed because the Philippines will not stand in the way.”
Moreover, Pangilinan said that government must protest China’s “blatant” violation, and strengthen the country’s military to preserve the remaining Philippine territories.
(DAILY NEWS ROUND UP FOR 01/ 06/18)