Filipinos: We are an independent nation—not a province of China

In case you haven’t caught up with the current frenzy online yet, several banners which read “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” were seen hanging from footbridges across Metro Manila.

The banners were posted in time for the second anniversary of the Philippines’ victory in its maritime dispute against China over the West Philippine Sea during the ruling of Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The sight of the banners prompted mixed reactions from netizens—many of which shared their concerns on protecting our sovereignty, expressed their firm stand against it, and called for authorities to take action for it to be taken down.

Many have theories on who could possibly be behind it and what reason they must have. Is it a prank or an attack on the administration’s close relation to China? Is it a protest or a cheap shot at trolling the public? Is this an attempt to “test the waters” or a ploy to condition the mind of the public?

One netizen who shared how he took down one of the tarpaulins on his own, said that he thinks the “fake media” and “activists” were behind it when asked by an Inquirer Radyo reporter.

Ang sabi ko kay Kuya Inquirer…Reporter:"Madaling araw pa may naglagay dito sa poster na ito? Bakit naglakas loob ka…

Posted by Jeremy Salomon on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

This led to some people thinking that the banners could be an anti-administration tactic by the media and bashed the said reporter on the post. Award-winning journalist and Inquirer Radyo announcer Arlyn Dela Cruz released an official statement saying that the “interview” was just a chance encounter with reporter Jong Manlapaz who happened to be there to do his job.

Consider this an official statement.The post of Jeremy Salomon is clear.Our reporter Jong Real Manlapaz merely…

Posted by Dela Cruz Arlyn on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The banners were already taken down and according to MMDA, it may have been “mistranslated” as the controversial banners were just supposed to welcome Chinese delegates on an incentive tour in the country.

But for some people, it doesn’t matter anymore who the culprit is or what the banners truly mean. What matters is that Filipinos should take a stand and not let our country—the one our heroes died for—to be a province of China.

For many years, we have fought hard and shed blood for our independence—for us to be able to walk freely without any governing foreign body killing us and enslaving us on our own land. We have come a long way for us to accept defeat and let another country conquer us again. And in these trying times, when history seems to be repeating itself and serious issues about our sovereignty can easily turn into a joke, we ask: “What are we going to do about it?”

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