Ipinagdiwang ng mga progresibong grupo sa pangunguna ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan ang ika-123 anibersaryo ng deklarasyon ng kalayaan ng Pilipinas mula sa Espanya sa pamamagitan ng isang kilos protesta sa harapan ng konsulada ng Tsina sa Makati city noong Sabado, Hunyo12. Tinutulan nila ang anila’y kapabayaan ng gubyernong Rodrigo Duterte sa West Philippine Sea at pang-uupat ng Tsina sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino sa loob ng Exclusive Economic Zone ng bansa. (Bidyo nina Jek Alcaraz at Joseph Cuevas. Editing ni Jek Alcaraz)
Rodrigo Duterte’s fellow San Beda University (SBU) alumni criticized the President’s statements belittling the nation’s victory in the international arbitral tribunal on the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
In a statement Sunday evening, an informal group of SBU alumni called on Duterte to uphold the Philippine Constitution by retracting his “defeatist” statements on China’s occupation of internationally-recognized Philippine islands at the WPS.
“When a part of our country’s territory is taken against our will by the People’s Republic of China and our countrymen, particularly the fishermen, are threatened with force from exclusively enjoying our nation’s marine resources, the President is solemnly bound to uphold, defend and protect his countrymen and the integrity of our national territory,” the statement said.
Signed by former SBU student leaders, the statement is the first ever statement issued by Duterte’s fellow Bedans critical of the President.
The statement, also posted on online petition platform change.org called on the President to:
• Retract his public statement that China is in possession of the West Philippine Sea;
• Retract his declaration that the Arbitral Award “is a mere scrap of paper, and should be thrown in the wastebasket” in order that it will not be used as an admission against the interests of the Philippines; and to
• Categorically, demonstrably and publicly uphold the mandate of our Philippine Constitution that: “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.”(Art XII, Sec. 2).
The statement, which was uploaded on the social networking site Facebook and on public advocacy platform Change.org, continues to gain signatories from San Beda alumni.
In his recent late night addresses to the nation, Duterte repeatedly justified the presence of Chinese boats within the Philippine exclusive economic zone near Palawan province.
Duterte said the international tribunal’s upholding Philippine rights on the West Philippine Sea is merely a piece of paper he could throw in a wastebasket.
He also said his earlier promises to personally stake Philippine claims to the territory were mere campaign jokes.
Senator Leila de Lima, Makabayan President Neri Colmenares and former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairperson and bar examinations topnotcher Winston Ginez were among those who signed the statement.
Former presidents and officers of the SBU College of Arts and Sciences Student Council, former editors of college student newspaper The Bedan, as well as former presidents of national youth and students organizations were also among the early signers of the petition.
Duterte earned his law degree from the then San Beda College in 1972.
After winning the presidency, Duterte has appointed a number of SBU classmates in his Cabinet.
Duterte is the first Bedan who became Philippine President.
Early aspirants included Ramon Mitra and Raul Roco, both editors in chief of The Bedan, and Ambassador Roy Señeres. Benigno Aquino Jr. was also believed to have aspired for the presidency.
Duterte nearly failed to graduate after shooting a fellow College of Law student a few weeks before graduation.
Then College of Law acting dean and former Senator Rene Saguisag recommended his expulsion but was overruled by the administering Benedictine monks on “humanitarian reasons.”
A tabloid also quoted Duterte bragging he once threatened to burn down the school after a disagreement with a law professor.
Before enrolling at SBU, Duterte also matriculated at the Ateneo de Davao University (which expelled him for disciplinary infractions), Holy Cross College of Digos (now Cor Jesu College), and the Lyceum University of the Philippines. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
In a public address last week, President Rodrigo Duterte tried to explain that his campaign promise to ride a jet ski to the disputed islands at the West Philippine Sea to assert Philippine sovereignty was merely a campaign joke. He however contradicted himself in what could be one of the more bizarre rants by the chief executive already notorious for often bizarre rants. #
President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to a debate on the West Philippine Sea issue has gone more weirder and weirder. After the latter has accepted the challenge, presidental spokesperson Harry Roque said the president is ready anytime. The President has since gone silent however, followed by Roque’s announcement that he had been designated to be his representative. Roque then enumerated issues to be debated upon, an imposition promptly rejected by the retired magistrate. #
In one of his latest public addresses, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines owes a big debt of gratitude to China and justified its occupation of islands inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone at the West Philippine Sea. His remarks received widespread condemnation from the Filipino people, including segments of the military.
“We can actually demand China accountability for its relentless occupation and plunder of West Philippine Sea. China’s monetary liabilities to the Philippines are indeed far greater than the loans and assistance that it would extend to the country.” — Fernando Hicap, National Chairperson, Pambasang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas
In his latest late night prerecorded address to the nation on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said it is China that is in possession of portions within the Philippines’ 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and that Filipinos could only go there to fish meekly.
“We are not in the possession of the sea…Ang China, kung hanggang diyan lang, huwag ka lang magulo…kanila talaga…para sa isip nila (China), kanila..Even if you go there…wala ring mangyari,” he said.
Critics said Duterte’s statement is an admission of cowardice and treason.
President Rodrigo Duterte confessed to being a traitor in his latest late Monday night address, his former professor and National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said.
“In all seriousness, Duterte confessed last night to being a traitor to the Philippines and the Filipino people by admitting that he had deliberately allowed china to violate the sovereign and maritime rights of the Philippines in its exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf in the West Philippine Sea,” Sison in a statement said.
In his address, Duterte said he is afraid that China would wage war on the Philippines if he would insist on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in asserting the country’s sovereign and maritime rights within its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.
Duterte said it is China that is in possession of the territory and that Filipinos could only go there to fish meekly.
The President blamed the previous Benigno Aquino government for agreeing to the United States of America solution to back off from a previous standoff with China, to which the Chinese government refused.
“The constructive occupation was completed by the singular act of China not retreating. That is how it is with the international law,” he said.
“You left. That means it is not yours,” Duterte said in Filipino.
“We can retake it only by force. There is no way we can get back what they call the Philippine Sea without any bloodshed…. You know the cost of war, and if we go there and really to find out and assert jurisdiction, I said it would be bloody. It would result in a violence that we cannot maybe win,” Duterte added.
The President said he will only send ships to the area to lay claim when China starts to drill for oil.
Sison said Duterte’s statements are those of an utterly stupid leader who is a shameless coward to China.
“In utter stupidity, coupled with unabashed cowardice and shamelessness, Duterte declares that it is alright for China to take over the maritime features in the West Philippine Sea and turn them into artificial islands and military bases so long as China merely engages in fishing and exploiting the marine resources and does not yet extract the oil and other mineral resources under the West Philippine Sea,” Sison said.
Sison said it is not true that only through war would the Philippines be able to assert its sovereignty in the area.
“The Philippines is not limited to either waging a war or making related or making diplomatic protests to China. It can file complaints to and demand rulings and action from the concerned UN agencies and international courts against China’s acts of aggression, invasion and occupation of the maritime features in the West Philippine Sea,” he explained.
He added that the Philippines can demand China’s withdrawal from the West Philippine Sea, compensation for damages to the marine environment and rent for the duration of their occupation of the artificial islands and use as Chinese military bases.
“In particular countries where China has fixed and liquid assets, like the US and Western Europe, the Philippines can take legal action to obtain compensation for the damages committed by China. Such compensation can far exceed the amount of onerous loans that the Duterte regime has so far obtained from China,” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
“Hindi tayo naniniwala na ang Balikatan Exercises ay gagawin para resolbahin ang isyu sa West Philippine Sea. Gusto lang pakalmahin ni Duterte ang isa pa niyang amo, ang US, dahil halata na ang pagma-manikluhod niya sa Tsina.” — Jeann Miranda, National Spokesperson, Anakbayan
“It is patriotic duty of every Filipino to fight for our territorial integrity, sovereignty and national patrimony. The Filipinos’ collective struggle should aim to wrest back sovereign control of the West Philippine Sea and the marine resources within the country’s exclusive economic zone.” — Pedro “Tata Pido” Gonzales, Vice Chairman Emeritus
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas