By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Makabayan Chairman and senatorial bet Neri Colmenares has joined various groups and personalities in calling on ordinary citizens to act in defense of Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.
“Kung ayaw ng gobyernong kumilos, tayo na mismo ang kumilos. Sa Abril 9, Araw ng Kagitingan, pumunta po tayo sa Chinese consulate sa Makati para iparating sa China ang ating pagtutol sa kanilang ginagawa sa Panatag Shoal, Zambales at sa Pag-Asa Island, Palawan,” said Colmenares in a press conference yesterday.
BicolToday.com in Naga City was informed Saturday about this April 9 citizen protest at the Chinese Embassy in Makati.
Colmenares initially suggested the protest at the Chinese consulate in a video post on his Facebook Page last Sunday. The post was viewed more than 25,000 times in 36 hours. The spontaneous response prompted various groups to mount an #AtinAngPinas rally on April 9.
Colmenares said that even if China does not act at all on the demand to leave the West PH Sea, “at least our people, the government, and the world will know that Filipinos are against their illegal and unjust activities and are ready to stand up to defend their rights.”
“Kahit ano pa ang paniniwala mo, kahit ano pa ang partido mo. Dilaw ka man, pula o asul, ang importante magkaisa tayo bilang Pilipino para depensahan ang ating soberanya. This is not about narrow political loyalties. This is about resisting the power play of an imperialist country and calling out the inaction of our own government,” he said.
“We cannot remain silent in the face of China’s actions against our fisherfolk and our rights. We don’t even know if the government has really filed a diplomatic protest. So what else can we do but air our protest directly to China,” he added.
He also appealed to the public to oppose what he called “onerous loan agreements that tie our hands and offer our patrimonial assets as collateral to China.” said Colmenares. [BicolToday.com]