SENATOR Richard J. Gordon yesterday called on Filipinos to adapt the mind-set of Filipino warrior chieftain Lapu-Lapu when it comes to facing the issue of foreign intrusion, particularly what is happening now in the West Philippine Sea.
Gordon made the call as he issued a resolution commemorating the 500th anniversary of the victory of native Filipino chieftain Lapu-Lapu over invading imperial Spanish troops led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The historic battle occurred on April 27, 1521 on the shore of the island of Mactan which is presently part of Cebu province.
“Filipinos are never push-overs when it comes to defending our freedom and territory. We have a long and glorious history of being warriors against foreign intrusion and invasion, stretching from 1521 to the Second World War. With this resolution, we honor that brave and heroic spirit and also call on all Filipinos to be modern day Lapu-Lapus: ready to fight and repel any foreign intrusion that threatens our freedom, sovereignty, and economic future,” he said.
The senator stressed that bringing to life Lapu-Lapu’s legacy and taking to heart the victory on the beach of Mactan Island is especially urgent now, especially with China’s acts of intrusion in the West Philippine Sea, which are are simply “unconscionable and unacceptable” and violate Filipino sovereignty.
“Malinaw naman po na mali talaga ang ginagawa ng China sa mga Pilipino. Gumawa sila ng isla na—aminado naman sila—isang istruktura na pandigmaan sa mismong teritoryo natin. Bukod dito, nagpapadala sila ng mga barko ng Chinese Coast Guard, mga bangka ng militia, para harangin o limitahan ang pagdaan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda at ng Philippine Coast Guard,” he said.
In the resolution, Gordon called on Filipinos here and all over the world to reject and condemn the following specific acts of China: 1. 9-dash claims in the West Philippine Sea which run contrary to the Arbitral ruling; 2. illegally building artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea; 3. the June 9, 2019, ramming and abandoning a Filipino fishing boat and its crew in the middle of the ocean; 4. creating swarms of Chinese militia posing as Chinese fishing boats which constantly prevent and deprive Filipino fishermen of their livelihood within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone; 5.enacting a law authorizing their Coast Guard to “use necessary measures to stop any imminent infringement on their territory by any organization or individual, which is a clear threat to Filipino fishermen, our Navy and Air Force, and other countries similarly situated, not to enter into these allegedly Chinese waters; and 6. mooring 220 vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef that prevent passage between Palawan and the Municipality of Kalayaan group.”
“WHEREAS, we the undersigned Filipinos and other freedom loving peoples from all over the world, inspired by the courage and patriotism of Lapulapu and Rizal, desire to send a message to the rest of the world that we will stand and defend with our lives, individually and collectively, our rights over our land and waters, and that we will fight attempts by any aggressor that threaten our sovereignty, economic well-being, and security,” he said in the resolution.