Protest in front of Chinese Embassy ends peacefully: police
No untoward incidents were reported after around 200 rallyists protested on Tuesday in front of the Chinese Embassy in Makati City to protest the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, a police spokesperson said.
Supt. Jenny Tecson of the Southern Police District (SPD) said militant groups from Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes and former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casi?o, ex-Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares, Act Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio, Juana Change began the protest at 10:44 am, demanding that China leave the West Philippine Sea.
They said the "Philippines is not for sale".
Reyes said it is the mandate of the government to protect and uphold the arbitration case the Philippines won in the UN-back Permanent Court of Arbitration.
"If he surrenders or sets aside our (arbitration) win, he is a traitor to the Filipino people," Reyes said.
He said the country's land and natural resources should not be used as collateral in borrowing money from China.
"Our sovereign rights should be respected and not be stepped on by China in the name of their loans," he added.
Colmenares, in a statement, said their protest showed not everyone is "subservient to him like (President Rodrigo) Duterte".
"You can bribe the government, you can use your military might to illegally occupy our seas, but we will continue to assert our sovereignty and demand that you get out of the West Philippine Sea," he said.
Colmenares said China should acknowledge the decision of arbitration court before conducting joint exploration of energy resources with the Philippines.
"In the first place, under international law, no country is allowed to control an entire sea. It is illegal for China to take possession and control the South China Sea," Colmenares explained.
"The details of any joint exploration agreement should be made public, get Congressional approval, strictly adhere to the Constitutional provision on state ownership and control over the country’s natural resources, and respect the country’s maritime entitlements under UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)," he added.
The protest ended peacefully at 11:35 am, 25 minutes ahead of schedule, Tecson said. Ella Dionisio/DMS