CLARK FREEPORT — Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao yesterday urged Pres. Duterte to issue a “statement of national condemnation” of the case of 22 Filipino fishers who were left in the waters by a Chinese vessel after a “collision” with their fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea Sunday.
In a statement, Casilao also condemned the incident, saying he was not content with the government’s demand for the Chinese government to sanction those involved and its mere declaration that the incident was a violation of international law.
“We demand that Pres. Duterte rally the Filipino people against the act via an executive issuance of a national condemnation,” Casilao said.
He said such statement “should be made official and put on record like the Official Gazette, for every Filipino to know that the national government is asserting national sovereignty and patrimony.”
Casilao noted that the incident was “an insult to Filipinos as a race” and that it “sends a chilling message that the government, the armed forces are helpless and useless to secure the safety of its citizens and the national territory.”
He also appealed for “special protection for the Filipino fisherfolk in the West Philippine Sea” and challenged the Armed Forces of the Philippines “to defend the national territory.”
“The Filipino fishing boats in the West Philippine Sea are actually our flag or national symbol. The Chinese have been repeatedly scaring them away, but now they have destroyed our vessel,” he added.