“Filipinos will not cower before China.”
This was the remark of Senator Risa Hontiveros as she is set to convene groups and stakeholders for an Independence Day online rally protesting China’s continued incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
“Habang busy tayo sa pagsugpo sa COVID-19, hindi pwedeng busy din ang China sa pananakop ng ating mga isla’t teritoryo. Ang panawagan natin sa Araw ng Kalayaan: China lumisan,” the Senator said in a statement.
Dubbed as ‘IPAGLABAN ANG PINAS’, the online protest will be livestreamed through the Senator’s Facebook page (fb.com/hontiverosrisa) at 10AM on Friday, June 12, 2020 in commemoration of the country’s 122nd Independence Day.
“China should respect Philippine sovereignty. It should leave our shores, and pay the Filipinos at least 200B pesos as reparation of their adventurism in the West Philippine Sea,” the Senator urged.
Hontiveros will be joined by human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, and outspoken artists Enchong Dee and Chai Fonacier. The online protest will also feature performances from Ebe Dancel, Noel Cabangon, Bayang Barrios and Cookie Chua.
“Sa manlulupig, ‘di tayo pasisiil,” Hontiveros also added.
Friday’s online protest will also signify dissent against the much-criticized Anti-Terrorism Bill and the government’s mass arrest of citizens and dissenters.
“Imbes na mass testing, bakit naging mass arrests ang nangyari? COVID-19 ang kalaban natin, pero itong Anti-Terrorism Bill ang isinalang ng gobyerno”, said Hontiveros.
Yesterday, Malacañan confirmed that it has received the transmitted copy of the said bill from Congress for the President’s signature.
“We need to oppose this bill. It is a danger to civil liberties and Filipinos’ fundamental freedoms”, urged Hontiveros.
Representatives from youth, labor, women and fisherfolk sectors will also speak at Friday’s online protest.
“Ngayon ang panahong mas dapat ipaglaban ang Pilipinas. Ngayon ang panahong mas dapat magpaka-Pilipino,” she concluded./Stacy Ang