Gordon: China bullying PH – Manila Standard

Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon has slammed China over the Julian Felipe Reef, where 44 of its vessels have been sighted in the area.

Gordon said Filipino fishermen have been victims of harassment by Chinese for years, and even the Philippine Navy have received threats.

“In the last ten years, there have been 25 encounters between Philippine and Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Our fishermen have been harassed, their catch stolen, their boats destroyed and sunk, leaving them stranded and floating at sea, and our own Navy’s boats have been threatened,” he posted on Facebook.

The Philippines has protested the presence of Chinese vessels in Julian Felipe Reef with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana telling them to leave the area as they have no reason to be there.

Gordon said China is trying to occupy the Philippines and the country needs stronger forces to defend itself.

“We cannot sit around doing nothing while China little by little attempts to occupy our territory. We must strengthen our economy so that we can build a stronger military and defend ourselves against bigger nations,” he said.

Gordon added: “Friendships and alliances are important, and we must seek help from stronger allies when we need to before it is too late, but we must work towards being able to impose ourselves when necessary to protect our territory.”

On April 3, Lorenzana tweeted that “the Chinese Ambassador to the PH has a lot of explaining to do. There are still 44 Chinese vessels that are in the Julian Felipe Reef. I am no fool. The weather has been good so far, so they have no reason to stay there. These vessels should be on their way out. Umalis na kayo diyan (Leave now).”

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