Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano on Tuesday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for repeating China’s explanations that the encounter in Recto Bank was just a “little maritime incident.”
“Evidently, he has become the echo chamber of China,” the Magnificent 7 lawmaker said in a statement.
“I take exception to the statement of Duterte implying that assertion of our rights in our territory is based on ones military capability,” Alejano said.
“Between war and subservience, there are many options. Any leader of a country should not announce to the whole world that it can not defend themselves. Let us give some respect to our country and people,” he added.
Alejano said he would have “wanted to hear from the President his gratefulness that our fishermen were safe.”
“We all have wanted to hear words of assurances that actions would be taken to address the issue. Lastly, I would have wanted to hear the President thank our Vietnamese friends for their goodwill and saving our fishermen,” he said.
“As a ‘friend’ it is not too much to ask to China to hold their fishermen accountable and compensate the damage done to the boat of our poor fishermen,” Alejano said.
“This is actually a test of their sincerity as a friend and validation of their pronouncements if indeed they seek peace and stability in the South China Sea,” he said.