NEW YORK — As Filipinos celebrate Philippine Independence Day around the world, members of the US Pinoys for Good Governance are back on the streets of the United Nations in New York City — demanding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to uphold the ruling of an international tribunal at the Hague in Netherlands, that China has no basis for its claims in the West Philippine Sea.
“We want to be independent, declare our independence from China’s usurpation of our West Philippine Sea, because we have already won the UN decision,” said Loida Nicolas Lewis.
Nicolas believes that the Philippines is now beholden to its huge loans from China.
According to a Forbes report, the Philippines will owe China as much as $452 billion after 10 years.
“On the one hand, humiram siya ng pera sa China,” said Nicolas. “On the other hand, babayaran natin yun, mamaya ang bayad natin, dugo natin, sasabihin ng China, hindi ka makabayad, akin ang oil mo.”
“I want the President Duterte to pursue the angle the South China Sea is owned by the Philippines,” said Erneto Ganje. “Regardless of what China says, we should demand that our rights be granted it is not might is right, it is right is might…”
Consuelo Almontes, a Duterte supporrter, shares the president’s sentiments most of the time — except when it comes to the Philippine territorial disputes.
“I want the world to know that the Philippines is not free for all… UN has already approved the Philippines is a sovereign country, and they should stick to this… we are just a small mosquito that can be taken advantaged of.”
Protesters say they came here in peace, and that they still believe that that this conflict with China can still be address with the help of the United Nations.