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Walang tiwala kay Cayetano: Drilon says nearly 100 PH protests vs China is unbelievable

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday questioned the validity of claims made by Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano over supposed close to 100 diplomatic protests filed by the government against China in the past two years.

“Hindi ko po alam that we have been assertive of our rights,” Drilon said as he scoffed at the Cabinet official’s pronouncements.

“Siguro di ako nagbabasa ng dyaryo o nakikinig sa radio. Ngunit medyo nabigla din ako dun sa sinasabi nila na may 100 protesta tayong finile. Eh medyo hindi po, medyo mahirap pong paniwalaan,” he said.

Cayetano, some two weeks ago, said that the Philippine has been filing diplomatic protests for two years now but they chose not to announce these regularly.

“The critics want us to announce it loudly and to confront China each and every time to the media. That is not conducive to the ongoing talks,” he said.

Drilon shared the position of those who viewed the acts committed by Chinese Coast Guards against Filipino fishermen as a form on harassment when they took with them some P4,000 worth of fish caught in the fishing ground in the Scarborough Shoal.

“I think there’s enough evidence. Nasa media po ang nangyayari dun. Kaya siguro konting lakas loob naman at aking hinihiling sa ating Sec. Cayetano na mag file ng protest. We must protect our right over that area especially given the favorable ruling that we had,” he said.

Drilon was referring to the United Nations (UN) Arbitral Tribunal ruling saying that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea and declared certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the country.