Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday has urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to do something about President Rodrigo Duterte's "mendicant" policy towards China, amid the latter's reported installation of anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems in the South China Sea, capable of hitting Palawan.
In a written statement, De Lima claimed the deployment of Chinese cruise missiles is the "single biggest existential threat" to the national security to the Philippines and the Filipinos.
However, the senator said the AFP continues to play "the monkey that sees, hears, and speaks no evil" on China's aggression on the disputed seas, due to the President's "amorous" affair with the Asian super power.
"Up to now, the AFP still chooses to stay silent, as if wishing that the news will just go away," the lawmaker said.
De Lima has called on the AFP to stand its ground as Duterte allegedly continues to encourage China on its upgrade of tactical and strategic forces.
"If the former is already threatening the latter, with Chinese cruise missiles now capable of hitting population centers in Palawan minutes after being launched from the Spratlys, it is time for the strategic thinkers in the AFP to step up and warn the President that the continuation of his mendicant policy towards China represents the inevitability of a perpetual threat to national existence," De Lima said.
"It is time that the AFP draw the line between Duterte’s mendicant policy towards China, on the one hand, and national defense and security, on the other," she added.
De Lima said Duterte helped China save billions of yuans in military spending and its occupation of Spratlys by surrendering the Philippines' legal and diplomatic fight in the South China Sea in just two years.
"And now it is only a matter of time before Duterte likewise surrenders all other islands and shoals still currently held by the AFP. When that time comes, will the AFP still see a line being crossed, or has the line already disappeared entirely, and that to our supposed defenders there is no longer any line of defense, only that of utter surrender and abject indifference to the future of our territorial integrity and national sovereignty?" De Lima said.
De Lima said with the deployment of Chinese missiles, the line "has already been crossed."
"This is a wake-up call not only to our armed forces but to our civilian hierarchy as well. Wake up now because we can already see and smell the People’s Liberation Army from our shores," she said.
Source: GMA News
"Stop being ‘silent monkey,’ do something about Duterte"- De Lima to AFP
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent