’Sino SENyo?’ gathers senatorial aspirants to share their thoughts on important national issues ahead of the 2022 elections. It airs on Teleradyo’s ‘SRO’ program on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
MANILA—Some senatorial candidates on Tuesday weighed in on the issue of the territorial disputes between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea.
Senatorial bets who were part of TeleRadyo's special program "Sino SENyo?" all agreed that the Philippines should affirm its rights in the West Philippine Sea while at the same time avoiding any conflict with China.
The program's participants included Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon of Bagumbayan's Volunteers for New Philippines, former Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar of Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma, Shariff Ibrahim Albani of Workers and Peasant Party, and rights advocate Junbert "JB" Guigayuma of Labor Party Philippines.
For incumbent senator Gordon, the Philippines can take advantage of its alliances to keep China in check.
"Dapat gamitin natin 'yung alliances natin with America, with Japan, with Australia, with Korea, with other countries in ASEAN. Dapat kinakailangan natin aktibo tayo sa UN, aktibo tayo sa lahat ng mga international conventions, para sinasabi natin 'yung mga ginagawa dito ng China. Because hindi kanais-nais 'yun," he said.
(We should use our alliances with America, with Japan, with Australia, with Korea, with other countries in ASEAN. We should be active in the UN, in the international conventions. We should let them know what China is doing because what they're doing is undesirable.)
Albani said the Philippines should look for a win-win solution by not agitating China.
"We have to establish a win-win solution. We have to protect our country na hindi tayo lusubin dito sa bansa natin (so we wouldn't be attacked here in our country)," he said.
"Para sa akin (for me), we have to favor with China. Why China? Because China, they never engage in war, since immemorial. They only engage in terms of economic solution and economic development, helping their neighboring country."
Meanwhile, Guigayuma said there should be more socio-economic agreements between China and the Philippines.
"Paigtingin po natin 'yung (we should strengthen) bilateral agreement on socio-economic. Talo tayo sa digmaan (We will lose in a war). Let us, you know, exchange with them, and do the bilateral agreement on socio-economic development," he said.
Eleazar said he would back any policy that would push for stronger alliances and establish a balance of power in the area.
"I support any position that would push for a strengthened dialogue with our allies in the international community. Dapat talaga ma-establish ’yung balance of power, at alam naman natin na maraming bansa na tayo’y bibigyan ng protection," he said.
(I support any position that would push for a strengthened dialogue with our allies in the international community. We should establish a balance of power, and we know that there are a lot of countries who will protect us.)