WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY 2012 10:32 MOMAR VISAYA | AJPRESS NEW YORK
NEW YORK – The dispute between the Philippines and China over the Scarborough Shoal is not showing signs of slowing down after various mass demonstrations were held by Filipinos outside Chinese consulates in major cities in North America over the weekend.
Here in New York, community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis led about a hundred Filipino-Americans in a protest rally outside the Chinese consulate on the corner of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue to protest Chinese navy intrusions into Philippine waters.
“Mga walanghiya sila (They have no shame.). They are already oppressing us. We want China out of Philippine waters,” Lewis told the media covering the event, which was a part of the coordinated worldwide protest. Rallies were also held outside the Chinese embassies and consulates in Washington, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and other major cities.
FIL-AM PROTEST IN WASHINGTON, DC. Members of USPGG conduct their own protest at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC on May 11, in congruence with the worldwide Pinoy protests vs China’s claim over Panatag Shoal. Fil-Am community leaders spoke before 300 Vietnamese, Formosans, Chinese Democracy supporters, Tibetans and allies; and lobbied for the support of five House representatives: Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and James Moran (D-VA), to support HR 352 which “condemns the use of force by naval, maritime security, and fishing vessels from China.” (Photo courtesy of Eric Lachica)
The issue of Scarborough Shoal (Filipino name: Panatag Shoal, Bajo de Masinloc) has been escalating in the past six months, with China increasing the number of its vessels in the area to 33, compared to just two guard vessels and five fishing boats on the Philippine side, according to Lewis.
“They are already bullying us into submission. If China wants to be a world superpower, it should start respecting international law. The international community should notice what China has been doing, it has not been following the rule of law,” Lewis added.
The Scarborough Shoal is a triangle-shaped chain of reefs and rocks or very small islands, located 124 miles from the town of Masinloc, Zambales and 500 nautical miles away from the nearest port in China.
Chinese officials have repeatedly stated that Huangyan Island, the Chinese name of Scarborough Shoal, is an inherent part of China’s territory and that the surrounding waters are historic fishing areas of Chinese fishermen.
“We have to let the world know what we as Filipino-Americans feel about the issue. We must show China that we are not allowing them to bully us like this,” said Mario Garcia, another community leader.
(LA Midweek May 16-18, 2012 Sec A pg. 1)