Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Opposition lawmakers slams Duterte on joke making PH a province of China

Of course they will make an issue out of it.

The opposition is at it again, pouncing on every chance to make news and critics PresidenRodrigo Roa Duterte. In an event attended by Filipino-Chinese businessmen yesterday, joked about amking the Philippines a province of China.

"I respect Xi Jinping, they assured us they will not build anything on Scarborough," Duterte said.  >

Magdalo comrades, Senator Trillanes and Party list Rep. Alejano

"He (Xi) is a man of honor. They can even make us 'Philippines, province of China," we will even avail of services for free," Duterte said in apparent jest. "If China were a woman, I'd woo her."


This happened when the President was trying to please the audience, which includes the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, an interpretation that was meant to convey that the Philippines wants to have closer ties between the two Asian countries.



Issues of sovereignty are serious matters - was the call of Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as they slammed the President finding his joke as not funny.


"The President should be reminded that our territorial integrity and sovereignty are issues that should never be joked about," Alejano said.


"He only acts tough against opposition, critics and poor Filipinos, but with China, he had the audacity to even [go] too far to make the Philippines a province of China. That is very unpatriotic," Anakpawis Rep. Casilao said.


As for Trillanes, one of the fiercest critic of Duterte, the joke was not appropriate for a President to make.


"...We need to call it out at 'yung mga statement na ganyan ay talagang mapagsasamantalahan 'yan ng China. Sa akin, especially on that issue, hindi appropriate na magbiro siya ng ganyan," he said.  *



Malacañang clarifies


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made some clarifications as to the issue of the joke that was made by the President in the event that was hosted by Chinese-Filipinos.


He reiterates that the President would continue to assert the Philippines' interests in the West Philippine Sea and the Philippine Rise.  

"His joke is, you know, just to emphasize that it's ours but... but we're one with China. Take it in that spirit. But he was very firm that we have title over the disputed area in West Philippine Sea and we have exclusive rights in Philippine Rise," Roque said in a press briefing Tuesday. 


"Ang interpretasyon ko doon...is pakitang gilas lang naman iyon (My interpretation is...he was just impressing the audience). You know, we are appealing to domestic constituents. We are just showing that there is no dispute here, just leave the Philippine Rise to the Filipinos," Roque  added

"But the Philippine president was very clear: We will not give away even a single inch of territory," he said. 

At the same event the President is not worried by that act of China naming the undersea features in the Philippine Rise which is formerly known as Benham Rise, saying that they are merely using their language in doing their research.

He reiterated that the Philippines has sovereign rights over the area and will not allow foreign expedition at the moment.

China last week allayed concerns in the Philippines side, saying it’s a mere it’s a mere scientific process and that it respects the Philippines’ sovereign rights over the area.

Jianhua said China will respect should the Philippines refuse to recognize the Chinese names for undersea features.

It was also in the same event that the President clarified is foreign policy with respect to the issue of conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea, saying that “he won’t go into battle he could not win.”

Report from ABS-CBN