Remember that time Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joked about making the Philippines a province of China?
Well, someone has decided to run away with that idea and posted banners around Manila that read: “WELCOME TO THE PHILIPPINES, PROVINCE OF CHINA,” in block letters and Chinese characters.
Several pedestrian lanes in the metro were reportedly spotted with the red banners today, coinciding with the second year anniversary of the Philippines’ win in the arbitration case against China over the South China Sea.
It’s still not clear who posted the now-viral banners.
Earlier today, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay posted a photo of one of the banners and said that it was “not funny.”
“On this day, July 12, we commemorate our victory in Philippines v. China,” he wrote. “On Metro Manila footbridges, these tarps (tarpaulin banners) suddenly appear.”
He advised traffic authorities, local government units, and citizens to take the banners down themselves when they see it.
On this day, July 12, we commemorate our victory in Philippines v. China.
On Metro Manila footbridges, these tarps suddenly appear.
MMDA, LGUs, and citizens should immediately take these down. pic.twitter.com/gDR6BMbojI
— florin hilbay (@fthilbay) July 11, 2018
Famous Manila tour guide and cultural activist Carlos Celdran reacted to the photo and said: “How does this make you feel, Fellow Filipinos? Well, if we’re not going to war against China, this will certainly start a civil one right here. Good job, 16 million. Now go f*ck yourselves and die.”
Facebook user Pinoy Ako (I’m a Filipino) Blog shared a photo of a tarp said to be in Quezon Avenue corner D. Tuazon Street and urged others to take it down as well.
“If you see this, please remove it or even tear it up!”
Facebook user Lexi R. Erasmus wrote in a comment to Pinoy Ako Blog’s post that maybe the banners were meant to provoke and open people’s eyes.
“Maybe someone put it there so people would wake up from the [government] administration’s shenanigans. There is only one reaction when you see it — to get mad. So it’s okay, don’t remove it so more people will wake up,” she said.
But many commenters were simply angry about the banners.
Tuquib Rolly wrote: “That [line] is from DuDirty himself of making a Republic of the Philippines, Province of China… It came from his mouth… If a Pinoy is advance in thinking, Duterte is dumb.”
Twitter user @iridescentyu also did not spare Duterte from blame: “[This is] such an insult to Filipinos who fought hard for 300 and more years to achieve freedom wtf I am sorry but Philippines is not and will never be just a province of China, f*ck you Duterte.”
such an insult to filipinos who fought hard for 300 and more years to achieve freedom wtf i am sorry but philippines is not and will never be just a province of china, fuck you duterte
— for yuta (@iridescentyu) July 12, 2018
One user with the handle @PnoyPolitix used the Philippines’ tourism slogan, but with a twist: “Now it’s more fun in the Philippines, the province of China.”
Now it’s more fun in PHL the province of 🇨🇳
— PINAYhatesDutz (@PnoyPolitix) July 12, 2018
What do you think about this stunt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.