Filipinos slam Beijing over South China Sea
MANILA, Philippines – A group called the West Philippine Sea Coalition takes to the streets to protest China's encroachment on Philippine territories. Paterno Esmaquel reports.
(Watch Rappler's video report below.)
(The script of the video report follows.)
It’s not Chinese New Year, but Filipinos protesting in front of the Chinese consulate say they want to drive bad spirits away. The rally is organized by the newly formed West Philippine Sea Coalition.
Marimi de la Fuente says China’s claims will bring bad luck.
MARIMI DE LA FUENTE, PROTESTER: Well, I know the Chinese believe in feng shui, so they should know that it’s bad feng shui to take what isn’t yours. I want them to know that they cannot bully the Filipino people.
It’s been a year since the Philippines and China escalated the word war over the territorial dispute.
Beijing slams the Philippines’ case against China before a UN tribunal and refuses arbitration, while the Philippines insists China should follow international law.
Former Senator Rene Saguisag says it’s time the Philippines put its foot down.
RENE SAGUISAG, FORMER SENATOR: We have to take a stand, kasi ‘yung Ayungin, Scarborough, pinipitik na lang tayo eh. It’s our own self-interest. Hindi sa Kano, hindi sa Intsik, hindi sa Hapon, kundi kung anong ikabubuti ng Pilipino, dahil ayoko na paglaki ng mga apo ko, problema pa rin ito.
Organizers say similar rallies will happen in other countries, such as the Australia, Canada, and the United States.
RAFAEL ALUNAN III, FORMER INTERIOR SECRETARY: We’re asking Filipinos to take leadership wherever they are. Hindi lang naman itong street rally ang avenue. Maraming avenues – there are international fore, social media. We can be very creative.
On the day of the rally, the Palace says it has no hand in the protests.
In a recent Pew survey 39% of Filipinos surveyed see China as an “enemy.” Palace ties or not, protesters say their voices echo a growing sentiment.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila.