[Reaction to Duterte’s silence on Chinese intrusion] On National Day of Valor, Duterte shamelessly displays servility

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) expresses its utter disgust with Duterte’s continued display of servility to China in the face of its brazen intrusions on the West Philippine Sea. We fear that the nation has befallen to a greater travesty – a treacherous president.

The words of Defense Secretary Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin against the continued presence of Chinese flotilla on the Juan Felipe Reef are empty and dull without Duterte’s own strong condemnation. More so since Duterte has, on numerous occasions, contradicted Lorenzana and Locsin, consistently downplaying China’s repeated offenses. Duterte is the country’s president and “chief architect of foreign policy,” he cannot remain silent when our sovereignty is trampled upon.

Duterte’s continued silence against Chinese interventionism is especially outrageous today, National Day of Valor. We observe Araw ng Kagitingan or Bataan Day to commemorate the heroism of Filipinos who offered their very lives to defend the nation against the occupation of a militarily superior foreign power. In contrast, Duterte’s official message today failed to even mention any of the numerous threats to the country’s sovereignty.

Worse, the Palace insisted on its silence even after an ABS CBN news crew was driven away by armed Chinese boats out of Philippine waters yesterday, April 8. The Presidential Spokesperson denied commenting on the issue and deferred to the DND and DFA after he was pressed for a statement earlier today. Duterte’s sole official statement on the issue made light of it, essentially begging Chinese officials to overlook the dispute for continued “vaccine cooperation.”
We nonetheless call upon all patriotic Filipinos to boldly express our utmost rejection of Chinese intrusion and militarization of the West Philippine Sea, and at the same time of Duterte’s brazen servility.

Amid Duterte’s deafening silence, the Filipino people resoundingly clamor, #AtinAngPinas, #ChinaLayas!

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