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ALEX LACSON RAISES ALARM ON CHINA PRESENCE IN WPS

“We need to elect leaders who will put our country’s interests first and foremost”

This was the statement of Atty Alex Lacson, a Negrense senatorial candidate running under the team of VP Leni Robredo and Sen Kiko Pangilinan.

Lacson was the guest speaker of the virtual forum entitled “Patriotism in the time of the Pandemic”, an event held on the night of November 18 (Thursday), organized by the Rotary Club of Bacolod headed by President Pauline G. Cuaycong, and participated in by various Rotary Clubs of Bacolod, Interactors and Rotaractors.

In his talk, Alex Lacson raised the alarm of the increasing influence of China in the Philippines, especially in the light of the recent bullying of Chinese patrol ships, using water cannons, against Philippine boats in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“We need to elect leaders who will promote, protect and defend the rights and interest of our country and the Filipino people first and foremost, especially in light of economic and military expansionism of China.”

Last year, the Senate raised what it called “the silent invasion”, in view of over 4 million Chinese who entered the Philippines since June 2016.

Alex Lacson said that after the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force left the Philippines in 1992 after the Philippine Senate terminated the U.S. Military Bases Agreement in 1991, China entered the West Philippine Sea and started occupying islands in the area.

Before 1992, China could not do that as the U.S. Navy and Air Force were patrolling the West Philippine Sea area. At present, China has already occupied several major islands in the area and has built formidable naval and military facilities. The Chinese military patrol ships shoo away Philippine ships and fishermen in the area using water cannons and intimidation.

Lacson mentioned the 2014 book “Asia’s Couldron” written by Dr Robert Kaplan, a Harvard Professor and geopolitical expert. In that book, Dr Kaplan claims that the oil and natural gas deposits beneath the islands in the West Philippine Sea are vast and huge worth many trillions of dollars. Kaplan called the West Philippine Sea as the “Second Persian Gulf” in terms of its oil and natural gas deposits.

Alex Lacson said these tremendous oil and natural gas deposits are among the main reasons why China wants the West Philippine Sea desperately, because it can sustain the economic and military power of China in the next one hundred to two hundred years.

But the West Philippine Sea is ours. “Sa Pilipinas ina. Sa mga Pilipino ina. Sa aton ina. It falls within the EEZ or exclusive economic zone of the Philippines as defined by UNCLOS or the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas”, stressed Lacson.

The Chinese military patrol ships shoo away Philippine ships and fishermen in the area using water cannons and intimidation.

“We need to elect leaders who will promote, protect and defend the rights and interest of our country and the Filipino people first and foremost, especially in light of economic and military expansionism of China”, said Lacson.

Alex Lacson is the only senatorial candidate from the Visayas under the Tropang Leni-Kiko

Alex Lacson also discussed other small acts of love for our country and environment like the need to buy local products and to help in the fight against climate crisis

Present at the virtual event were Edgar Sy (President of Chinese Chamber – Bacolod), Bacolod Vice Mayor Elcid Familiaran, Rotary Assistant Governor Sharon Parrocho of Zone 6, Ma Priscilla Hilado (President of Rotary Club – Bacolod South), Jeinz Kreistan Salgado (President of Rotary Club Metro Bacolod), Floressa May Castro (President of Rotary Club of Bacolod Central).

Among those who also attended were Rotary officers and members from Binalbagan, Cadiz, Victorias, and even Aklan and Zamboanga.

Several Kabankalanons, like Fr Jun Estoque, Noel Garbo, Leo Dote also joined the forum.

Leilani Alba, former president of Rotary Club of Bacolod was the one who introduced Alex Lacson, who is a cousin and fellow Kabankalanon of Leilani Alba.

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