China’s presence in the West Philippine Sea is an insult to Philippine Independence, Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement.
“I call on my fellow patriots to assert our nation’s dignity, pride, and sovereign rights. I call on all Filipinos to proclaim – so that China and the other world powers will hear – that the Philippines and the West Philippine Sea are ours,” Hontiveros said.
“No calling China our best friend; no downplaying our 2016 victory at The Hague; no kneeling to China,” she added.
“China’s incursion into our waters will never be acceptable to the Filipino people and must never be normalized. Our fisherfolk who venture out to their traditional fishing grounds are chased away by Chinese vessels. Our Philippine Coast Guard who conduct legitimate maritime patrols are shadowed and blocked by China’s Coast Guard ships. Our government officials who condemn China’s territorial ambitions are slandered with misinformation and falsehood,” Hontiveros said.
“These are an insult to Philippine independence, as well as an affront to our forefathers and mothers who fought and toiled for the freedoms we Filipinos enjoy,” she said.