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Monday, June 17, 2024

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HOWIE SEE IT: Freedom from China

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By Atty. Howie Calleja

Happy 126th Anniversary of Philippine Independence and Nationhood to everyone; and as we celebrate with the theme “Kalayaan. Kinabukasan. Kasaysayan” it is only fitting that we are cognizant (vis-à-vis our festivities) of the biggest threat to our freedom — Imperialistic China. So, as we bear witness to the much-awaited Parada ng Kalayaan 2024, showcasing the different historical events which signified the start of our journey to Philippine independence. The first agencies established by the young Philippine Republic then, will also be featured along with their present-day agency counterparts. Let us bravery show our courage against China and its desire to restrain our freedom and sovereignty.

According to the survey results, released by the OCTA Research, 76 percent of the 1,200 respondents polled said that they saw China as the “greatest threat” to the Philippines. This means that more than three out of every four Filipinos consider China to be the biggest threat to their country, as tensions continue to rise between our two nations in disputed parts of the South China Sea — a clear menace to our freedom as a nation state.

Let our voices be heard shouting FREEDOM from Chinese intimidations. Tensions between Beijing and Manila have heightened recently as Chinese Coast Guard ships try to block much smaller Philippine vessels from reaching the BRP Sierra Madre, often by blasting them with powerful water cannons.

Let our voices be heard shouting FREEDOM from Chinese propaganda. In Beijing’s claim that it agreed to a deal over a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, they told journalists in Manila they were ready to release audio of a call with a top Philippine military official to prove it — all in the context of spreading its fake narratives and misinformation.

Let our voices be heard shouting FREEDOM from Chinese assimilation. A Chinese invasion is slowly creeping into Philippine society through their gradual social assimilation. Sadly, all these Chinese activities were allowed and processed through connivance with Filipino local and national leaders who allowed the proliferation of POGOs. If this is not a creeping invasion then what is this? And, who knows Mayor Guo may be one of them? Surely there are more POGO hubs and bigger syndicates. Mayor Alice and her wonder farm is only the tip of the iceberg.

Our freedom now stands in a balance. The continued Chinese message on their 10-dash line claim is the provocation. The line, which China said is based on its historic maps, loops as far as 1,500 km (932 miles) south of its Hainan island and cuts into the EEZs of the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam. As such, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague invalidated China’s claims over areas of the South China Sea in 2016. So, our fight for freedom must stand; and like our heroes of the past we shall prevail.

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