Detained Senator Leila de Lima described as hilarious the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that China will protect the Philippines amid reports that the latter has installed missile systems in the Spratly Islands.
“This is hilarious, because the only country from whom the Philippines needs protecting is China. Only Duterte needs China’s protection. The rest of us needs protection from Duterte and China,” De Lima said in a press statement issued Tuesday.
In a speech in Davao City on Friday, Duterte said China assured the Philippines that it will protect the latter from external threats.
American news network CNBC has reported that China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three reefs in the West Philippine Sea.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has filed a resolution seeking an investigation on the matter.
“I support the initiative of the Senate leadership to conduct a legislative inquiry on the deployment of Chinese missiles in the Spratlys,” De Lima said.
She said it is time for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to explain to the people its position on China’s move to put Palawan under the threat of missiles launched from the Spratlys.
“It is time for the AFP to confirm if they agree with their commander-in-chief’s position that the country that threatens our West Philippine Sea territories is now our “protector.” It is time for the AFP to clarify once and for all if it still intends to defend our remaining forces in the West Philippine Sea against China and traitors in our midst,” she said.
She said the Filipino people deserve better than the silent capitulation of its entire defense infrastructure to the single biggest threat to its national existence.