By Jingo! There is nothing like having a rich and heavily-armed neighbor sniffing around your backdoor to whip our politicians into a nationalistic fervor.
Although the Palace has officialy called for calm on the issue of Chinese navy ships cruising near the Kalayaan Island Group, Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez wants to hit the Middle Kingdom where it hurts: its international image.
“We can deliver speeches and statements in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), UN (United Nations), Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union), various parliaments especially the US Congress, Australia, Japan, South Korea. We should internationalize the issue in both official and unofficial channels,” Golez said.
Golez, who believes everything on Wikipedia is true , said China’s image abroad is where it is “most vulnerable and where a credible attack can be launched and sustained.” He even suggested a “diplomatic alliance” with Vietnam despite that country also claiming the Spratlys as theirs.
The loose strategy seems to be to pressure groups like Asean and the UN (where China sits on the security council) to, I don’t know, say some pretty words about sovereignty and freedom.
Over the weekend, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, a former economic adviser to the Arroyo government, suggested a boycott of China-made goods. “Let us boycott ‘Made in China’ products. Buy Filipino. Let us hurt them where it counts,” he reportedly told his constituents on Independence Day a few decades too late. With no real industries to speak of, buying Filipino at this point will hurt us more, and where it counts.
Not keen on Filipinos basically not buying anything they can afford, the Palace was quick to reject the proposal.
“Governor Salceda, like many other Filipinos, has strong opinions regarding the issue of the West Philippine Sea and we respect that. However, a boycott of Chinese products is not administration policy at this point,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
If you grew up knowing that the Spratlys were in the South China Sea (and if you were born before today, that includes you), then more fool you. As every red-blooded Filipino knows, the Spratlys are in the West Philippine Sea, according to the country’s latest campaign to legitimize our claim over the islands.
(Palace spokesman Edwin NMI) Lacierda said the Palace was taking its cue from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which has been using “West Philippine Sea” in the series of letters and notes verbales protesting China’s incursions into areas that the DFA claims were well within Philippine territory.
The DFA earlier explained that using “West Philippine Sea” to refer to the waters where the disputed territories lie was “in keeping with our tradition and history as well as reflective of its proper geographic location.”
No longer can China use that foulest of the arguments used by playground bullies: “I don’t see your name on it.” You can see it now, China. You can see it now.
Senator Francis Pangilinan also chimed in on the issue with a statement that on one hand is irrelevant, and on the other hand, isn’t true at all: “The Philippines has a long history of freedom and popular uprisings against tyranny and the arrogance of power. We will never allow any superpower to bully us into submission.”
Happy post-Independence Day, everybody.
Except you, Renato Pacifico, you fink.