Senator Risa Hontiveros Sends a Strong Message to China
On July 30, Senator Risa Hontiveros took to Twitter to send a strong message to China.
“To China: Amin ang Pilipinas. Ngayon at magpakailanman,” wrote Hontiveros.
(“The Philippines is ours. Now and for eternity.”)
Hontiveros posed with a clenched fist while wearing a red face mask with the words “Amin ang Pilipinas” in Filipino and Chinese characters.
To China: Amin ang Pinas. Ngayon at magpakailanman. pic.twitter.com/1iVAZW5aFW— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) July 30, 2020
On July 29, China praised President Duterte’s non-confrontational stand on the issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea.
“President Duterte’s policy propositions are in keeping with the fundamental interests of the Philippines, the shared aspiration of regional countries, and the trend of the times for peace and development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on July 28, a day after Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In the SONA, Duterte described himself as inutil or useless when it comes to enforcing international law regarding the West Philippine Sea.
“We have to go to war. And I cannot afford it. Maybe some other president can but I cannot. Inutil ako diyan and I’m willing to admit it. Talagang inutil ako diyan, walang magawa,” said Duterte.
(“I am useless in that issue, I cannot do anything.”)
A Diplomatic Protest is An Act of Peace
But according to the late Roilo Golez, who served as national security adviser and congressman of Paranaque's second district, the Philippines does not need to go to war to assert its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
“A diplomatic protest is an act of peace,” Golez said in May 2018. “It is not going to result in war. Nobody is recommending war here, and we have to make our position clear. We have to protect our West Philippine Sea and our exclusive economic zone.”