Senator Grace Poe on Thursday scoffed at Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s claim that the country might even be thankful to China someday for putting artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.
“The West Philippine Sea will freeze over first before China will even begin toying with the idea of giving us back those islands,” Poe said in a statement.
“Thus, Roque’s wishful thinking is like saying that a homeowner may soon be thankful to a gang of fully armed men who unlawfully intruded his place for some time and made it their safehouse, which in effect, prevented other criminals from ransacking the same,” Poe said.
The Palace official’s statements came following reports that Beijing had almost completely transformed the seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratlys into air and naval structures.
Massive dredging operations began in 2014 and recently, images showing military structures are almost complete.
Roque, when asked on the issue, blamed the previous administration for its alleged failure in stopping the construction activities of China in the past.
“There will come a time when China’s might have ceased, when we will have to thank them for the islands because it is only the Philippines that can legally build on those artificial islands,” he said.