Senator Tolentino drops genius plan to drive Chinese away with Filipino music

Will the Chinese love Ex Battalion’s (right) music? <i>Photo: ABS-CBN News/Ex B’s music video</i>
Will the Chinese love Ex Battalion’s (right) music? Photo: ABS-CBN News/Ex B’s music video

Filipino politicians say weird stuff all the time, but Sen. Francis Tolentino’s suggestion on how to scare foreign invaders could possibly be among this year’s strangest.

Tolentino said in a Senate hearing yesterday that a state-run radio station in Palawan should play Filipino songs at night. Doing this would remind the Chinese occupying the nearby West Philippine Sea — parts of which Manila claims — that their presence is far from appreciated.

“I would want — this should have been a secret — but at night, our radio station in Palawan should play all-Filipino songs,” is how Tolentino said it bilingually during a budget hearing for the government agency responsible for managing public radio. “This should reach the [radio] stations of you-know-who in the West Philippine Sea. Those from far-flung places saying that they own the nine-dash line.”

Tolentino clearly was referring to the Chinese government, which has claimed almost 90% of the West Philippine Sea because those areas are part of the so-called nine-dash line, China’s vague and legally arbitrary 2,000-kilometer claim.

“So at night, it’s going to be like Voice of America, all these guards will just hear Filipino songs … our enemies,” he added. “All Filipino songs, so that they know that they are in Philippine territory.”

The senator didn’t give a playlist, but we would like to suggest including rap group Ex Battalion. They got swag, they’re music is catchy, and fun.

As expected, netizens were quick to mock Tolentino. @Jkbarrameda shared a photo of a ship sporting the Wish 107.5 logo, a radio station famous in the Philippines for owning a bus where local musicians perform. “So this is what Francis Tolentino wants to happen?” he tweeted.

@MalacananEvents came up with a Spotify playlist titled “West Philippine Sea” for the Palawan station to use.

@jorposa82 asked: “Why did you have to be a senator… you should have just worked as a DJ.”

In case Tolentino has forgotten, the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration sided with the Philippines and invalidated China’s claim over parts of the West Philippine Sea in 2016. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping rejected the ruling when President Rodrigo Duterte brought it up during his visit to Beijing in just last month.

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