MANILA - Sen. Francis Tolentino on Thursday said the government should broadcast Filipino songs in areas occupied by China in West Philippine Sea.
Tolentino said the government’s radio stations in Palawan and Zambales, two provinces facing the vital waterway, should be able to broadcast Filipino songs to the area to remind the Chinese occupants that they are still within Philippine jurisdiction.
“Dapat kapag gabi, puro Filipino songs iyung tumugtog sa radio stations natin sa Palawan, abot doon sa mga istasyon na na-occupy ng alam 'nyo na kung sino sa West Philippine Sea – 'yung sa malalayong lugar kanila raw, sa 9-dash line,” Tolentino told Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) officials during the agency’s budget hearing.
Sen. Richard Gordon, meanwhile, also got irked after learning from a PCOO official that the government broadcast station has a partnership with China Radio International.
“Pambihira. Siguro kailangan tanggalan ng budget ito. Beijing?” Gordon said.
He said government radio stations must instead employ Chinese broadcasters in order to educate Chinese about the Philippines.
He noted some illiterate Chinese have been told that the Philippines is a province of China.
“If you have a Chinese programmer, then you cite ang kasaysayan natin dito na hindi tayo province ng China, and that we are lovers of freedom and we support democracy etcetera etcetera, iyon talaga propaganda iyon,” he said.
China occupies seven features in the disputed Spratlys archipelago, where it has build man-made islands to fortify its claim to the strategic waterway.
A Hague-based court backed by the United Nations in 2016 ruled China’s island-building violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights. Beijing, however, has ignored the ruling, while Manila under President Rodrigo Duterte has been keen on setting aside its victory in exchange for better economic ties with the regional power.