Bayan leader likens China’s acts in West PH Sea to robbery
MANILA – Bearing placards with messages written in Chinese, about 150 members of militant groups Bayan Muna and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan marched to the Chinese Consular Office in Makati City to protest what they call China’s violation of Philippine sovereignty in the South China Sea.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said they meant to show that the Filipino people will not tolerate China’s expansion activities in the South China Sea, particularly the reclamation activities that encroach into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, and the harassment of vessels and aircraft entering the disputed areas.
The groups are throwing their support for the arbitration case filed by the Philippines against China’s nine-dash line claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.
They said the Philippines needs to solve this crisis on its own terms.
Bayan and Bayan Muna also protest strongly “United States intervention” in the South China Sea and the Philippine government’s dependence on US military assistance.
“Para kang namimili sa pagitan ng magnanakaw at rapist,” said Reyes as he compared the actions of China with that of the US. “Talo ka sa pareho. Walang magbabantay sa interes ng Pilipinas kundi Pilipino.”
The groups reiterated that America’s help will come with a price, and that this indebtedness will put the Philippines in a bind in the long run.
Instead of relying on US help, the Philippine government should step up its own modernization and nationalize all industries currently controlled by China, Reyes said. “Kailangang mapa-aray din natin ang China dito eh.”
The groups do not believe that the US will step in to intervene should actual hostilities take place involving the Philippines since the US has significantly more massive economic ties with China than with the Philippines.
Reyes refuted criticisms that Bayan and Bayan Muna have been mum on China’s actions in the South China Sea, with some accusing them of taking the side of China.
Reyes said today’s protest was actually the sixth demonstration they have held, and vowed there will be more.
The groups have set a bigger protest action in front of the Chinese consulate on June 12, Independence Day. They will proceed to the US Embassy to hold another protest.