MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo slammed China on Sunday, November 25, after the Chinese Coast Guard drove away a Filipino TV crew from Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), as she also scored the Duterte administration for its "defeatist" attitude.
"Nakakatakot na nakakagalit (It is scary and it also makes us angry)," Robredo said of the Panatag Shoal incident.
Robredo was referring to a November 8 incident, reported last week by Philippine broadcast giant GMA-7, where the Chinese Coast Guard stopped a GMA-7 team from conducting interviews in Panatag Shoal. The Chinese Coast Guard said the Filipinos cannot proceed with their interviews "without the permission of China."
Panatag Shoal is found in the West Philippine Sea, which belongs to the Philippines but is claimed by China.
"Nakakalungkot kasi ito iyong pinapamukha sa atin: na talagang iyong mga dapat may karapatan naman tayo, inaangkin ng iba – inaangkin ng China (It's sad because this is what they're showing us: that something which belongs to us is being claimed by another – being claimed by China)," she said on her weekly radio show.
Robredo also criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for saying the Philippines can do nothing about China's behavior. (READ: Carpio rebuffs Duterte: China doesn't possess South China Sea)
"Kapag iyong Pangulo na iyong nagsabi na wala nang magagawa, parang ginive up natin iyong pakikipaglaban (If it's the President himself who says we can do nothing, it's like we have given up the fight)," Robredo said.
"Iyong mga irresponsible na mga comments galing sa Pangulo, galing sa spokesman, galing sa ating mga ibang officials, tantamount ito sa pagbebenta ng sovereignty natin (The responsible comments from our President, from his spokesman, from our other officials, that's tantamount to selling our sovereignty)," Robredo added. – Rappler.com