Following their lightning rally at the Chinese consulate last June 25, Anakbayan – Metro Manila along with various progressive groups, led another mobilization at Mendiola on the third year anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) decision regarding West Philippine Sea on Friday, July 12.
The UNCLOS decision, granted on July 12, 2016, favored the Philippines assertion on its exclusive economic zone. Three years later, however, tensions on the West Philippine Sea and the nearby islands continued at varying degrees.
The Duterte administration, however, stated that it will not utilize the UNCLOS ruling when dealing with China so as not to cause tensions with the country. The Duterte administration even advocated joint explorations in the disputed islands.
“On the third anniversary of the declaration of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), we stand here at the foot of the Malacanang Palace to condemn the inutile lapdog Duterte for his apparent cowardice to stand for the Filipino people. He has proven to the Filipino people that he is nothing but a traitor and a lapdog to foreign powers,” said Mark Fernando, Anakbayan Metro Manila’s spokesperson.
The group blasted the Duterte administration over its aloof commitment regarding the West Phillippine Sea, even going as far as to dismiss the Recto Bank incident as a ‘simple maritime incident’. Duterte also stated that China can continue fishing at the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) because of their “friendship”.
“Duterte is a sell-out! His lack of political will to stand against foreign intervention would pave the way for the rights of Filipinos to be more exploited,” said Paco Perez of Student Christian Movement of the Philippines Metro Manila.
The groups also condemned the Duterte administration’s continuing deals with China, claiming that these onerous deals and loans will further plunge the country into debt.
“Duterte had subjected the Filipino people to carry the burden of his exclusive China loans amounting to 3.69 billion pesos for his Build, Build, Build projects,” Fernando continued.
Traitor to be ousted
At the culminating part of the program, the youth burned an image of a Chinese dragon as well as images of Duterte fashioned as puppets.
“Duterte’s three years of incumbency is more than enough. As long as the inutile Duterte regime continues to wreak havoc on the Filipino people, we can never expect the Duterte regime to fight for our own nation’s sovereignty. The challenge to free ourselves from foreign encroachment lies on the Filipino masses’ strength to eject this traitor out of his place in Malacanang! The Filipino youth is resolute to fulfil its task to unite its strength with the marginalized to forward the national democratic revolution to its victory. Oust that puppet lounging in the Malacanang!” Fernando ended.
The groups are set to mobilize on the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 22.