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Nasaan ang tapang natin? Robredo questions gov’t response to China’s activities in West PH Sea

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Vice President Leni Robredo has urged the public to take a closer look at the government’s response to China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea in light of its Coast Guards’ blatant taking of Filipino fishermen’s catch in Scarborough Shoal.

In a speech at a forum on the West Philippine Sea Monday (June 11), Robredo said Filipino fishermen will have no one to turn to if the government maintains its soft stance on China.

“Ganito ba tayo bilang Pilipino? Kapag tayo ay lantaran nang ninanakawan at tinatapak-tapakan, hindi ba tayo maninindigan? Nasaan na ang tapang na inaasahan natin sa ating bayan? At higit sa tapang, nasaan ang tibay ng loob sa harap ng lahat na mga hamon?” she asked.

Robredo said that while the Department of Foreign Affairs claims to have filed a diplomatic protest against China for sending nuclear-strike-capable bombers to the Paracel Islands, the public needs to ensure that the document “contains the strongest possible wording.”

“What is being stolen is our comfort in knowing that we can sleep soundly at night, certain that we are secure from external threats and weapons of war. What is being stolen are our resources, electricity, food, and jobs for our people,” she said.

A documentary team from GMA Network recently caught members of the Chinese Coast Guard taking the fish caught by Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, which is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone. Malacañang, however, denied the incident is proof of China’s harassment.

Given China’s activities in the South China Sea, Robredo said it is important that Filipinos are aware of the government’s foreign policy.

“Apart from the opportunities mentioned above, we must also keep a close eye on making a differentiation between the importance of promised economic benefits by China vis-a-vis our national security,” she said.