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Akbayan to Sara: You don’t have to be president to speak vs China

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu - @inquirerdotnet - | March 28,2024 - 03:12 PM

FILES / Official facebook page of Inday Sara Duterte

FILES / Official facebook page of Inday Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — Party-list group Akbayan said on Thursday that Vice President Sara Duterte does not have to be a president of the country for her to call out China’s intrusive actions over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Empathy and a moral backbone is just what it takes to stand up with fisherfolk and frontline workers enduring China’s actions in the region. This is the response of Akbayan party president Rafaela David to statements from Duterte’s brother Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte.


“Perhaps the congressman needs a reminder: VP Sara doesn’t need to become the president and chief architect of our foreign policy, or even “demonize” China to show solidarity with our frontliners and fisherfolk in the West Philippine Sea,” David said in a statement.

“All that is required is a modicum of empathy and a pinch of moral backbone – qualities one might hope for from the second-highest leader in the country,” she added.


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David also reiterated their question about why the Vice President can be vocal in her support of Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Apollo Quiboloy, yet be reluctant in speaking up for the country.

If Vice President Duterte thinks it is not her job to protect and defend Filipinos, David suggested that she resign from her post.

“And pray tell, if VP Sara can boldly back a doomsday preacher accused of serious sexual offenses, champion a fake news outlet, and shield her father from the ICC, why the reluctance to speak up for Filipinos facing foreign aggression on our doorstep?” David said.

“Kung tingin ni VP Sara ay hindi niya trabaho na ipagtanggol ang mga Pilipino, mag-alsa balutan na siya at bitawan ang kanyang pwesto,” she added.

(If VP Sara thinks it is not her job to defend Filipinos, then she can run away and resign from her post.)

David’s statements came a day after Rep. Duterte, in response to Akbayan’s previous statement, said that questions about China should be asked of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and not the Vice President who handles the Department of Education.

According to the lawmaker, the country’s foreign policy is taken care of by the DND and the DFA — adding that it is not the Vice President’s job to demonize China.

David on Tuesday called out Vice President Duterte for her “deafening silence” on issues regarding Chinese intrusion in the WPS — contrasting it to her statements made in defense of Quiboloy.

Duterte recently defended the pastor from different accusations, calling the hearings conducted by two congressional panels as a trial by publicity. She also attended a prayer rally in support of Quiboloy.

Akbayan also called out Rep. Duterte, claiming that it appears the lawmaker only talks when issues are about his family.

“It’s hilariously predictable that Rep. Paolo Duterte, usually tight-lipped on anything remotely relevant, suddenly discovers the power of speech to defend his sister, Vice President Sara Duterte, and her deafening silence amid China’s escalating violence against Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea,” David said.

“We find his carefully curated outrage amusing, which appears to be exclusively for the protection of the interests of his family and China. It’s like watching a silent movie with a laugh track – comically hypocritical and painfully revealing,” she added. has asked Rep. Duterte’s side after Akbayan’s recent statements, but his office has not yet issued any response as of writing.

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TAGS: Akbayan, China, Vice President Sara Duterte, West philippine Sea

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