Duterte gov’t. criticized for inaction on Chinese transports landing on Panganiban Reef


By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent

Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros asked if the Duterte government will also deport Chinese officials in the country for China’s illegal occupation of Philippine territory.

Two Chinese military transport planes have reportedly landed on Panganiban Reef, within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

Earlier, Partido Liberal stalwarts assailed the government for its inaction on the country’s territorial claims on the West Philippine Sea amid reports that China’s two war planes landed on the reef.

“We demand transparency in the administration’s dealings with China. What else is the Philippines giving up for this new friendship?” asked Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Is it not proper that we should fight for our territory especially our fishermen? “Aquino asked, noting the wasted victory granted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Partido Liberal president, said the escalating militarization of the West Philippine Sea, taken with the Philippine government’s obliging attitude and behavior toward China, is unacceptable.

“Is the Philippines becoming a barangay of China?” he asked.

Pangilinan also pointed out that this sovereignty and security issue should have been discussed in the President’s recent visit to China.

What happened to jet ski promise?
Former lawmaker Erin Tanada, Partido Liberal’s vice-president for external affairs, said that if Duterte cannot fulfill his campaign promise to ride a jet ski and plant a Philippine flag in the disputed territory, he must at least fight for it through the PCA decision.

Tanada reiterated that the presence of Chinese military transport planes on Panganiban Reef is another intrusion in Philippine sovereign territory.

“We seek clarification from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Foreign Affairs on this incident. Are Philippine authorities aware of this? Are these passages or landing allowed? What is China bringing next after these transport planes — war planes?” Tanada said.

“Dapat nating tutulan itong patuloy na panloloob bilang bahagi ng ating paninindigan sa desisyon ng Arbitral Tribunal. We should be on guard against any move that could be prejudicial to order, and peace and security in the territory,” Tanada added.