SAN FRANCISCO — Senator Risa Hontiveros is currently in the U.S. on a speaking tour regarding defending democracy while living under the Duterte regime.
The outspoken critic of the president, Hontiveros, does not hold back when asked about what actions the president must take after the ramming incident of a Chinese vessel that left 22 Filipino fishermen boatless — only to be rescued by Vietnamese sailors.
“I continue to call on the president to downgrade our diplomatic ties with China by for now, recalling our ambassador and consuls there in order to do the reverse to the status of our sovereignty, the rights of our fishermen, our environmental rights and allowing really for a serious, diplomatic reparation to be made to the Philippine side.”
Hontiveros also cites the harassment of former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales by the Chinese, as signs for President Duterte to act.
“The one entering Hong Kong for a visit with her grandchildren and then the other actually caring a diplomatic passport so what does that make of the harassment against him? It’s a government to government offense. I’m calling on our government to cease and desist from these harassments.”
The senator says she knows the president is capable of such things because of his bold actions during the trash dispute with Canada.
She only wishes that he can apply that same attitude to China over the lives of his fellow kababayans.
“If he could raise such a fuss about the issue of government and violation of our environmental laws vis a vis the government of Canada surely and even more so he should raise a fuss about Chinese vessel ramming our Filipino fishermen and leaving them to drown in deep waters.”
Senator Hontiveros is scheduled to hold similar forums in Los Angeles and Seattle.