Vice President Leni Robredo tweeted a short but strongly worded video clip this afternoon—managing to both throw some shade at China and rebuke the Philippine government for failing to stand up for national sovereignty.
Robredo’s tweet is a reaction to remarks made by China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal ruling siding with the Philippines on the territorial disputes over the West Philippine Sea. Unsurprisingly, China’s spokesperson called the ruling “illegal, null and void…nothing more than a piece of waste paper.”
“While the tone was unnecessary and unfortunate, hindi na ako nagulat. The message is actually expected,” Robredo said. “After all, governments are expected to assert their nation’s interests, even if they sometimes have to bend logic in the process.”
Robredo went on to take the Duterte administration to task for failing to stand up to China. “Sana ‘yung gobyerno natin, willing ding magpakita ng kaunting tapang regarding the issue. Kasi talagang habang umaatras tayo, lalo lang tayong didiinan. ‘Pag interes na ng sariling bansa natin, dapat pumalag tayo,” she said. (“[I wish] our government, too, were willing to show a little courage regarding the issue. Because [China] will press us even more as we back off. When it comes to the interests of our own nation, we should resist.”)
[A] Response of VP Leni Robredo to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Remarks on the 5th Anniversary of The Hague Ruling pic.twitter.com/kDgW9wfPWP
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) July 13, 2021