Filipinos in Saipan and Guam will hold a protest rally on Friday, July 24, against China’s “invasion, occupation and militarization” of the Philippine-claimed West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea.
The protest action, according to Dr. Celia Lamkin, chair of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) coalition, aims to show support to the Philippine delegation who presented Manila’s case against China before a UN arbitration tribunal in The Hague last week.
“Although there is no Chinese embassy or consulate on Saipan or Guam, our group wants to join the global day of protest to show to the world the Filipino unity, solidarity and patriotism in defending our territories and Philippine sovereignty peacefully,” Lamkin said.
The rallies will coincide with the third anniversary of China’s creation of the Sansha prefecture within a vast jurisdiction that includes islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea.
The rallies will be held simultaneously from 12 noon to 1 p.m. across the Sunleader Store at Beach Road, Garapan, Saipan, and at the ITC Intersection at North Marine Corps Drive and Chalan San Antonio across from the ITC Building in Tamuning, Guam.
Appeal to ITLOS
Dr. Loida Nicolas-Lewis, USP4GG US national chairwoman, urged the International Tribunal Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to “stop China from its plan to take over the entire West Philippine Sea, which will constitute the largest territorial heist in maritime history.”
“We want ITLOS to issue its decision now, not three years from now, before China can consolidate its occupation of Philippine territories,” Lewis said in a statement.
Filipinos in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are also expected to show their support to the endeavor by gathering in front of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in their respective states.
Filipinos in UK, Italy, France, and Romania also expressed interest in holding their own rallies, according to USP4GG, which insisted that the West Philippine Sea issue is “not just a Filipino issue” but “a global issue” that will affect “the whole world.”
In the Philippines, the coalition is expected to rally in front of the China Consulate in Makati City. Motorcades, organized by the Philippine Guardians International Brotherhood, meanwhile are set from Cainta to Angono in Rizal.
The group is also encouraging Filipinos and concerned global citizens who would like to support the global protest against China and could not join physically to have a selfie or picture of their group with Philippine flag or a poster saying China out of the West Philippine Sea or China Back off and have the pictures posted in social media. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News