'China layas': Activists slam Beijing incursion, loans in Day of Valor protest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2019 01:22 PM | Updated as of Apr 09 2019 08:15 PM

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MANILA -- Hundreds of activists on Valor Day trooped to the Chinese Embassy in Makati, chanting angrily against Beijing's incursions in disputed waters and its allegedly onerous loans to the Philippines. 

Protesters, who occupied 2 of Makati Avenue's 3 lanes, included members of progressive groups Anakpawis, Gabriela, and Bayan. 

"The Philippines is not for sale. Isigaw natin nang malakas, atin ang 'Pinas," Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. told the crowd. 

(Let's shout loudly, the Philippines is ours.) 

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from different groups march towards the Chinese Consulate in Makati to mark “Araw ng Kagitingan” on April 9, 2019. The protesters urged President Duterte to uphold national sovereignty as China continues to occupy the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

"China layas (get out)!" protesters chanted back.

"Maling sabihin na giyera lang ang puwedeng pagpilian natin kung gusto nating igiiit ang ating soberanya," Reyes added. 

(It is wrong to say that war is our only choice if we want to assert our sovereignty.) 

The military recently expressed concern over hundreds of Chinese "militia" vessels circling Pag-asa Island on the South China Sea. 

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, meanwhile, warned that Beijing could seize gas reserves off another area in the waterway if Manila fails to pay a $62-million loan for the Chico River Dam. 

'SELLOUT' 

Tuesday's protest shows that Filipinos are willing to defend the country despite President Rodrigo Duterte's "sellout" to China, said Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares.

Duterte, he said, accepted military equipment from China and agreed to allegedly disadvantageous loans. 

“Duterte has betrayed the sacrifices of our heroes in fighting for independence and national sovereignty," Colmenares said in a statement. 

"His defeatist and mendicant foreign policy has emboldened China to treat the West PH Sea as its own, with utter disregard for our rights and dignity as a nation," he added. 

The Philippines should gather international support to stop China's militarization of the resource-rich sea, said Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate. 

"Other countries should be involved as well because they may be the next target of China's bullying," he said. 

Duterte has said in several occasions that the Philippines could not afford to go to war against its more powerful Asian neighbor. 

Last week, he said he will not allow China to occupy Pag-asa Island and would instead seek a compromise

Malacañang, meanwhile, said that the loans from China were negotiated on "equal footing" and would not result in a debt trap. 

China refuses to recognize a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal's decision that invalidated its sweeping 9-dash line claim over the South China Sea. Duterte has set aside the ruling as he pursued investments from the Asian economic giant. 

Report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News