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August 8, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 180 views

SENATOR Raffy Tulfo blew his top upon learning about the government program sending high-ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to China to study and train at its military academy with the Chinese government paying all expenses.

The information was divulged by Senator Francis Tolentino during the public hearing of the Committee on National Defense chaired by Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

Tolentino’s revelation was confirmed by Department of National Defense Undersecretary Ireneo Espino.

Tulfo said the government must put a stop to the program since it is a complete insult to the Filipinos who continue to be bullied by China.

Tulfo cited the persistent harassment of members of the AFP by the Chinese military in the West Philippine Sea.

The latest incident being on Aug. 5 when one of China’s coast guard vessels used a water cannon against a Philippine Navy and PCG boat supposed to deliver supplies to military troops in Ayungin Shoal.

Tulfo has earlier urged the AFP to remove the cellular tower of a telecommunications company inside the military camp owned by the Chinese government.

Tulfo learned that some of the military equipment of the AFP, including a computer hardware, is donated by Chinese government.

“Isang malaking kahangalan kung patuloy pang tatangkilikin ng ating AFP ang mga bagay na galing sa Chinese government,” he said.

Tulfo is set to file a resolution to investigate these alarming practices.

Meanwhile, other senators also denounced the latest Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea describing it as foul and inhumane.

Senate President Juan Miguel Migz Zubiri who condemns the said chinese provocation against the Philippine Coast Guard.

Zubiri urged the government to take appropriate action in asserting and securing the country’s sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“I urge the executive to run the points using all the viable tools at its disposal, such as possible joint patrols over the WPS with our allies and the ones we’ve enumeraed in our adopted resolution,” Zubiri said.

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. stands in solidarity with senators in condemning the most recent intimidation and harassment tactics by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Revilla said the use of water cannons and dangerous maneuvers of the CCG to deter the PCG from completing their resupply mission to the Ayungin Shoal is a “threat” against the country’s security, safety and sovereignty.

For her part, Senator Risa Hontiveros calls for the banning of China-owned companies in the Philippines following the former’s continued harassment of Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea.

Joining Senators Zubiri and Tulfo in slamming the China Coast Guard’s use of water cannon against Philippine Coast Guard vessels, Hontiveros said the Philippines could also show its displeasure “economically” by dropping projects it entered into with Chinese state-owned firms, and prohibiting them from operating in the country.

Hontiveros also urged the Philippine government to expand its alliance with other countries, civil groups and the private sector in upholding the rule of law over the WPS.