- Palace blames the ‘enemies of the government’ as the ones behind the controversial tarpaulins
- Roque said the government stands to gain nothing from such absurd gimmickry
- He also reiterated PH has never given up its sovereignty
MANILA, Philippines – The controversial tarpaulins with the message “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” found hanging from several footbridges across Metro Manila on Thursday were the handiwork of the ‘enemies of government’.
This was according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque who said the Palace has nothing to gain from suck gimmickry.
“It’s absurd and I’m sure it’s the enemies of our government behind it. So to them: try again, you need a better gimmick than that,” Roque said during a press briefing on Thursday.
Netizens and the public were both amused and outraged after photos of the red banner with a Mandarin translation went viral on social media.
Apparently, it was an attempt to insult the government since Thursday marks the 2nd year anniversary of the country’s historic victory against China in the ongoing maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
It was July 12, 2016 when the International Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands ruled in favor of the Philippines; declaring China’s ‘nine-dash line’ claim as illegal and baseless.
Roque said the groups or individuals behind the banner were “obviously propagating a lie” since the country have never given up its sovereignty or national territory.
“But we have decided to move on issues which are non-controversial because we know the final resolution, particularly on the issue of sovereignty on the disputed islands, will take many years to resolve since this was not a subject of the arbitral ruling that we won two years ago,” he added.