Bayan protest rally at Chinese embassy; Credit: Chiara Zambrano
Members of Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) held a protest rally today, Thursday, June 4, 2015 in front of the Chinese embassy in Makati. Just like other militant groups, Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said they are demanding China to stop its aggressive actions and incursions in Philippine waters.
“We are serving notice to the Chinese government that Filipinos from different walks of life are united in opposing China’s incursions in Philippine waters. We will defend our sovereignty against the absurd claim that the entire South China or West Philippine Sea belongs solely to China,” Reyes said.
“What China has done to Panatag Shoal and Mischief Reef is an affront to our sovereignty. Filipinos have the patriotic duty to oppose these aggressive actions as well as to call on our own government to defend our territorial integrity.” The militant group leader added, noting the Bayan is also against US intervention on the issue.
“We are neither pro-China nor pro-US. We are pro-Philippines. We advocate an independent foreign policy in dealing with disputes,” Reyes explains further. He emphasized that China should respect said the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which clarifies the extent of the Philippines territorial waters.
“We don’t want to be caught in the middle of two big powers trying to outdo each other in the region. Neither China nor the US respect our sovereignty. Neither will protect our national interests. It will be up to the Filipinos to find a way to fight smart.” The militant group leader said.
Reyes noted Philippines is now like choosing between a thief and a rapist. He reiterated that US is helping country because it needs something with a very high price, which will eventually make Filipinos suffer in the long run. The militant group leader said the Philippine government should instead pursue modernization.
Incidentally, this is the sixth protest rally by Bayan against China. Together with Bayan Muna and other militant groups, Bayan is set to have set a bigger protest rally action in front of the Chinese embassy this coming June 12, Independence Day. The groups will also have a separate protest at the US Embassy.
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