Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, standard bearers of Partido Reporma in Eleksyon 2022, exhorted the Philippine government to step up initiatives in strengthening alliances with foreign states amid fresh aggressive acts by China in the West Philippine Sea.
“We are not satisfied (with just diplomatic protests) … Sarili na nga nating teritoryo, tayo pa ‘yung tinataboy, wina-water cannon. Napakasamang pangitain ‘yon, so kailangan ma-correct ito,” Lacson said in their regular weekly “Meet the Press” Zoom conference with reporters.
“Kaya nga ang aming magiging polisiya dito, makipag-alliance tayo doon sa malalakas na bansa, ‘yung mga militarily strong countries. Like meron naman tayong existing [na] mga bilateral agreement with them,” Lacson, who is also chairperson of the Senate committee on national defense, said.
Lacson said the Philippines should stop being a "pushover" of the super power.
“So, ang pinag-uusapan namin ni Senate President Tito, umasa tayo doon sa tinatawag na ‘balance of power’ na makipag-alyansa tayo. Hindi ‘yung parang pushover na lang tayo,” Lacson said.
The aspirants issued the remark after Chinese Coast Guard vessels drove away with wager cannons local boats that were supposed to bring supplies to soldiers manning the shoal.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry had claimed the Philippine boats did not have permission to enter the territory, reiterating their sovereignty over maritime waters.
Lacson said the government should do more than lodge protests over the aggressions
“We are not satisfied (with just diplomatic protests) … Sarili na nga nating teritoryo, tayo pa ‘yung tinataboy, wina-water cannon. Napakasamang pangitain ‘yon, so kailangan ma-correct ito,” Lacson said.
Sotto pitched for "exploring alliance opportunities with military countries and using existing bilateral agreements to protect the country from future incidence with Chinese forces."
“Dapat siguro i-highlight natin muli ‘yung mga provisions ng Mutual Defense Treaty sapagkat ‘yun ang panlaban diyan e,” Sotto said.—Jiselle Anne Casucian/LDF, GMA News