RALLY GETS ATTENTION OF CHINA!
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2019 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) — Filipino American rallyists gave China a dose of its own medicine on Friday (July 12) when they “occupied” the sidewalk — a city property — abutting its Consulate in
the heart of Chicago and asked the Chicago Police to eject the rallyists who were asking China to get out of the Philippine Western Sea or South China Sea within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The good thing about it is that the Chicago Police waited about 15 minutes for Chicago Pinoy Newsmagazine publisher-editor Mariano “Anong” Santos to finish his remarks on behalf of his Knights of Rizal (KOR) before telling the shocked rallyists to do their bidding across the street.
UNFURLING PHILIPPINE FLAG:
MR. EDMUND NABUA of MALAYA, a US movement for democracy in the Philippines and against tyranny and dictatorship, unfurls the Philippine flag in front of the China Consulate before his group was driven away from the sidewalk abutting the China Consulate at the corner of 100 West Erie and Clark streets in the heart of Chicago, Illinois on Friday noon, July 12. This is the first time in the last seven years that Fil Am rallyists had come closest to the China Consulate. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
The China Consulate was alerted by this reporter on July 6 in an email asking China Consul General Zhao Jian if he will accept an audience by leaders of rally organizers or a letter from the organizers during the rally. Mr. Jian must have alerted the Chicago Police about the rally as two cars from private security firms were seen posted in front of the Consulate at the time of the rally. This reporter never got a response from Mr. Jian.
Previous rallies held in the past by Filipino Americans against the China consulate were held across the street. But this motley group led by Fil Am community organizer Jerry B. Clarito must not have been informed of this protocol as his dozens of followers converged shortly before noon beside the massive Consulate building at the corner of North Clark and 100 W. Erie streets and started the motion of opening the program.
PRAYING FOR ENLIGHTENMENT:
BISHOP ELI PASCUA of Chicago, Illinois’ Philippine Independent Church opened the rally just beside the door of the China Consulate (note the Consulate panel at upper right) on July 12 at noon with a prayer, “Today Oh Lord, we ask for your grace and accompaniment as we gather in this area to call the attention of peoples, our people and people of China as to to the important consideration of life of nations and people on decision that should have been upheld until now. The Philippine Western Sea also known as South China Sea belongs to Philippines but China continues to assert its claim and doing its operation. We pray Oh Lord for your important and much needed intercession, enlighten governments and peoples of China and the Philippines concerning this matter. Little group as we are Oh Lord but we take the voices of the solid Filipino nation, defending its rights and sovereignty, and fighting for its patrimony over the West Philippines Sea.” (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
Surprised by the sudden intrusion by the police without warning, the handful of Filipino American community activists meekly gave up their space and walked across W Erie street to the south to continue their interrupted program marking the third anniversary celebration of the victory of the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in The Hague, The Netherlands on July 12, 2016.
In remarks after they were driven away, Bishop Eli Pascua said, “Sana sa paglipat natin dito sa isang tabi as urged by authorities ay maging symbol din ng demonstration ng pagalis ng China sa Philippine Western Sea not only because of the authority but also because of the loud cry not only of Filipinos but also the United Nations.” (We hope that when we moved over to the other side of the street as urged by authorities, it will also become a symbol that demonstrates that China will be ceding the Philippine Western Sea to the Philippines not only because of the authority but also because of the loud cry not only of Filipinos but also the United Nations.)
WITH CHINA CONSULAR STAFF:
EVEN AFTER Filipino American rallyists cleared the sidewalk beside the China Consulate at the corner of 100 West Erie and Clark streets in the heart of Chicago, Illinois, a staff of the China Consulate (extreme right) is seen from across the street talking animatedly with the Chicago Police who evicted the rallyists “occupying” the sidewalk beside the China Consulate last Friday noon, July 12. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
Even after the rallyists had already crossed the street, a China Consulate representative was still seen arguing with the Chicago Police by asking the police that when the rallyists speak, their megaphone should be turned away from the Consulate.
REJECTION OF CHINA
For this, Bishop Pascua quipped, “Not only because we were able to call the attention of that office opposite us the Consulate of China but we believe that we and our voices are in concert with the voices being aired towards pacification and rejection of China in West Philippines Sea all over the world.”
THE VOICE OF Edmund Nabua (right) of MALAYA, a US movement for democracy in the Philippines and against tyranny and dictatorship, must have been so loud (see top photo) that it disturbed the conversation between the Chicago Police and the China Consular staff across the street that the Chicago Police told rally leader Jerry B. Clarito to “tone down” the megaphone and have the megaphone turned around as shown in bottom photo last Friday noon, July 12. (JGL Photos by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
If there was any consolation, Mr. Clarito, who represents the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance of Illinois (FAHRA) in Chicago, said, “We were able to ‘invade’ them for 15 minutes close to the China Consulate as close as possible. But because we are peace-loving people, we have to leave.”
For his part, Mr. Rico Cadayona, a columnist of Filammegascene, welcomed the presence of the Chicago Police, which means “we are making an impact.” He urged fellow Filipino Americans to call their relatives and friends in the Philippines to revolt against China’s intrusion in the Philippine Western Sea.
Others who spoke during the hour-long protest rally included Chip Payos of CIRCA Pintig, who said, “Filipinos here in the United States, particularly in Chicago, are deeply appalled by the action taken by China in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The Scarborough Shoal, called Panatag Shoal that China is claiming as its territory is actually part of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone and falls within its sovereign territory.
THE CHICAGO POLICE were back to tell Fil Am rally leader Jerry B. Clarito (left) to tone down the volume of the speakers and have the megaphone face away from the China Consulate’s direction on Friday noon, July 12, in Chicago, Illinois. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
“This territory is rich in marine life and is the main source of livelihood for Filipino fishermen. However, the Philippine Navy apprehended eight Chinese vessels carrying illegally harvested corals and giant clams. There were also reports that ships and boats of our Kababayan (compatriots) were raided by Chinese sailors; the same Kababayan who are being restricted from fishing in the Panatag Shoal. Our fishermen cannot obtain protection from the dangerous sea conditions of the Scarborough Shoal and lagoon because of intimidation perpetrated against them by Chinese nationals.”
Dr. Juanita Salvador-Burris, convenor of FAHRA, said her Chicago-based advocacy human rights organization is “concerned about recent actions taken by China which endangered the lives of Filipino fishermen in South China Sea and West Philippine Sea. Filipino fishermen were being shooed away by Chinese boats and prevented from fishing in areas that are in the exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines. Scarborough Shoal is a popular fishing ground for Filipino fisherman. It is about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the Philippines and 800 km (497 miles) from China.
“INVADERS FOR 15 MINUTES":
JERRY B. CLARITO (right), who represents the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance of Illinois (FAHRA) in Chicago, told his followers that the couple of setbacks his group got from the China Consulate should bolster their pride and are badges of honor. Mr. Clarito said, “We were able to “invade” them for 15 minutes close to the China Consulate as close as possible. But because we are peace-loving people, we have to leave.” (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
SEVERE HARM TO CORAL REEF
“In addition, China has built and accelerated construction of air fields in some of the disputed reefs. The (Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, The Netherlands) Tribunal also said China had caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment” by building artificial islands. The problem is there is no enforcement behind the Tribunal ruling.”
Mr. Santos of KOR said, “The Philippines is a cradle of noble heroes like Dr. Jose Rizal who fought for our freedom from foreign invaders who exploited our rich natural resources and committed atrocious human rights violations against the Filipino people.
“I LOVE IT”:
A LADY PASSER-BY (right) responded to Mr. Joseph (Joe) Balmadrid’s quote of a Chinese proverb, “A long journey starts with the first step. This is one of the first steps hanggang mapalayas natin ang (until we are able to drive away) China,” saying, “I love it.” To Mr. Balmadrid’s right are Mariano “Anong” Santos of Chicago Pinoy newsmagazine and Ruben Salazar of Philippine American Cultural Foundation and Piyesta Pinoy. The rally was held in Chicago last Friday noon, July 12. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
“We are again faced with national challenges where we are betrayed by collaborators who compromised our country’s patrimony to greedy imperial powers. China invaded our territory with tacit consent with the present regime in Manila. China commits violence against our people without the regime protecting their human rights. We add our voices in a loud call to end these atrocities!”
VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL & PHILIPPINE LAWS
For his part, Edmund Nabua of MALAYA, a US movement for democracy in the Philippines and against tyranny and dictatorship, said, Malaya “decries the fact that China’s fishing vessel abandoned the Filipino fishermen despite their plea for help. It is a violation of International Law and Philippine Law.
“ATIN ANG PINAS! CHINA, LAYAS”:
ROY VILLA of U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) reads the statement of USP4GG, saying, “Atin ang ‘Pinas! China Layas!” (The Philippines is ours! China get out!). This has been the rallying cry of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) since 2010, as they were joined by fellow Filipinos all over the world to protest the illegal activities and unjust policies of Beijing in the West Philippine Sea. Their worldwide protests played a part in prompting the Philippine government to file an arbitration case against China in 2013, which led to a historic victory for the Philippines on July 12, 2016.” Looking on at right is rally leader, Mr. Jerry B. Clarito of Filipino American Human Rights Alliance of Illinois in Chicago, and Ms. Ella Basillo of National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
“MALAYA supports a statement of the International League of People’s Struggle saying, “The Philippines is entitled to the interconnectivity of its islands, the territorial sea of 12 nautical miles from its eastern, northern, western and southern shorelines, the further 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the still further 150 nautical miles of extended continental shelf (ECS) from the outer limits of the EEZ.
“China has its own territorial sea, EEZ and ECS and these are hundreds of miles away from what lawfully belongs to the Philippines. The invention of such a name as “South China Sea” by Western cartographers and mariners cannot be the lawful basis of China's drawing its nine-dash line and claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over 90 per cent of the said sea as much as India cannot claim ownership over the Indian Ocean.”
WORLD STANDS UNITED VS. CHINA
Ms. Ella Basilio of Region 3 West of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) said, “Filipinos worldwide should stand united against China’s territorial claims of the West Philippine Sea. For decades, Filipino fishermen there had rights to those waters and grounds and now cannot freely fish through the Scarborough Shoal and seek shelter against strong winds in the lagoon. That territory that belongs to the Philippines is abundant with quality grouper, tuna, and Spanish mackerel.
GOD BLESS THE WORLD!
RAY VILLAR greets his son, Atty. Don Villar, a Chicago, Illinois area labor leader and former staff of WLS-ABC TV Channel in Chicago, who provided moral support for the cause that his father is advocating for but declined to make a statement last Friday noon, July 12, in front of the China Consulate in Chicago. To Don’s right is Ms. Flor Clarito, wife of Mr. Jerry B. Clarito. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
“However, Chinese sailors have continuously blocked their access, boarded their boats, and burglarized their ice boxes for their best catches. Our fishermen have reported that the Chinese sailors confiscate their cellphones when they try to document the incidents.”
Roy Villa of U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) said, “Atin ang ‘Pinas! China Layas!” (The Philippines is ours! China get out!). This has been the rallying cry of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) since 2010, as they were joined by fellow Filipinos all over the world to protest the illegal activities and unjust policies of Beijing in the West Philippine Sea. Their worldwide protests played a part in prompting the Philippine government to file an arbitration case against China in 2013, which led to a historic victory for the Philippines on July 12, 2016.”
“MAKE PEACE, NOT WAR”:
JOSEPH G. LARIOSA of PM (philamessenger.com) advocated for the U.S. Senate to amend the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty to include Philippine Western Sea or South China Sea as part of the “Pacific Area” that will trigger the United States to help the Philippines in case there is an attack in the PWS’ exclusive economic zone (ECC) by a foreign power as a deterrent to maintain peace in the area. The PWS is also an important waterway through which trillions of dollars in trade pass each year. Mr. Lariosa pointed out that it is ridiculous for Philippine Foreign Affairs Sec. Teddy Locsin to assign fault on the 22 fishermen who were sleeping when their boat sunk after being struck by Chinese vessels last June. Instead of rescuing the 22 Filipino fishermen in what China calls Liyue Tan or what the Philippines calls “Recto Bank or Recto Reef” in the Spratly Islands which is within the 200 nautical miles of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Chinese vessels pulled away after feeling being threatened. How can the drowning Filipino fishermen threaten someone when they were drowning? Under both the “castle” and the “last clear chance” doctrines, the Filipino fishermen could not be held liable for the allision. (JGL Photo by MARY ANN HIDALGO)
“PHILIPPINES IS OURS”
Ruben Salazar of Philippine American Cultural Foundation and Piyesta Pinoy said, “Atin ang Pilipinas. We stand with all of you in solidarity to defend the sovereignty of the Philippines from China and others who take over our the land or sea.”
Joseph (Joe) Balmadrid, said, “A long journey starts with the first step. This is one of the first steps hanggang mapalayas natin ang (until we are able to evict) China.” A woman passerby who heard it said, “I love it.”
CHINA OUT OF PWS:
THIS HARDY GROUP of Filipino Americans and supporters have sent a powerful message to China to get out of the Philippine Western Sea or South China Sea as their banner is visible from across the W. Erie Street on the third anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, The Netherlands, on Friday, July 12, when PCA ruled that China’s massive nine-dash-line claim in PWS/SCS had no merit. (Photo by Flor Clarito)
Ellen Balmadrid said, “China get out of Philippine Western Sea. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.” (Long live, Philippines!)
Connie Legazpi of Aklan said she wants China out of Philippine Western Sea.
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