ni ROSE NOVENARIO
HABANG patuloy na ipinagbubunyi ng sambayanang Filipino ang tagumpay ni Pinay weightlifter Olympic gold medallist Hidilyn Diaz na gumapi sa China, buong pagmamalaki namang ‘sinamba’ ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte at todo-puri sa Beijing dahil sa pagpopondo sa P1.4 bilyong Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Project.
“Secretary Villar just whispered, congratulated me for all these projects, had no time to explain to him but in parting I said this is not my work, this is the work of the people involved directly, the People’s Republic of China, who provided the money, and the workforce of the DPWH and its dedicated workers, at ‘yung mga taong naghirap dito.
“Sa kanila itong proyekto. The credit and the honor should belong to the one who funded the project and of course the one who toiled night and day to make this bridge a reality,” sabi ng Pangulo sa inagurasyon kahapon ng proyekto.
“Workers on the way up of the echelons of the government have nothing to do with this except maybe to supervise and from time to time ask the progress of the project in Cabinet meetings.
“So today we mark another milestone under our build build build program, the inauguration of the new Estrella-Pantaleon bridge,” dagdag ng Pangulo.
Ikinonekta ng 500-meter bridge ang Estrella St., sa Makati City sa Pantaleon St., at Barangka Drive sa Mandaluyong City na nag-ugnay sa dalawang mahahalagang business district sa Metro Manila at inaasahang makapgpapaluwag sa trapiko ng mga sasakyan.
“I’d also like to express our gratitude to the government of the People’s Republic of China for financing the project. The 1.46 billion peso funding that they have extended highlights the goodwill of the Chinese people and its government and further cements the good relations between our two countries,” anang Pangulo.
Umani ng batikos si Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang sinabi sa huling State of the Nation Address (SONA) na walang naganap na arbitration sa pagitan ng Filipinas at China sa isyu ng agawan ng teritoryo sa South China Sea dahil hindi naman lumahok sa proceedings sa Permanent Court of Arbitration sa The Hague, Netherlands ang Beijing.
“What will I do with a document that does not bind China because they were never a part of that arbitration? There was really no arbitration at all because it was only the Philippines side who was heard,” sabi ni Duterte.
Muli niyang tinakot ang publiko na sisiklab ang digmaan at tiyak na matatalo ang Filipinas kapag iginiit niya ang arbitral ruling sa China.
“Do you want war against China? Well, I’ll tell you. Even on the coast, beach of Palawan, before you can take off, the missile of China would be there in about five or 10 minutes. It would be a massacre if I go and fight a war now.”
Para kay Professor Jay Batongbacal ng UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, mali ang pahayag ng Pangulo dahil may mga karanasan na kahit hindi lumahok ang isang partido sa PCA proceedings, legally binding ang desisyon ng arbitration court.