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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Protest rally vs China draws a hundred-plus on Saipan

The July 24 Global protest rally against China’s invasion of the Philippines initiated by the US Pinoys for Good Governance that was held on Saipan and other parts of the world was a huge success, said Dr. Celia Lamkin, chairperson of the US Pinoys for Good Governance Marianas chapter and secretary, board member, and founding member of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council.

On Saipan, the rally was held at the Minatchom Atdao Pavilion in Susupe and was participated in by more than a hundred individuals composed of Filipino foreign workers, students, pastors, and children. Senior citizens, U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and other ethnic groups also attended to show their condemnation of China’s aggression toward the Philippines.

The rally was organized by USP4GG Marianas Chapter led by Dr. Lamkin, in collaboration with the Association of Filipino Pastors on Saipan.

In the Philippines, 1,500 participants composed of more than 60 groups, associations, sorority groups, student organizations, Christian churches, ministers, pastors, lawyers, former government officials and lawmakers, party list groups, private individuals and the West Philippine Sea Coalition, among others, marched and rallied in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati.

Attorney Loida Nicolas Lewis, national chairperson of the US Pinoys for Good Governance and Global Filipinos Diaspora Council, led the same protest in front of the United Nations in New York, which was attended by more than 150 participants composed of Filipino-American leaders, students and the Vietnamese-American community.

The San Francisco protest rally was led by attorney Rodel Rodis, USP4GG president, and attorney Ted Laguatan, USP4GG spokesperson and legal counsel.

“On behalf of the US Pinoys for Good Governance, I would to extend my sincere appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to those who have helped, assisted, collaborated and cooperated for the success of the peaceful global protest rally and prayer against China’s invasion of the West Philippine Sea,” said Lamkin.

July 24 marked the first anniversary of China’s creation of the “Sansha City” prefecture, which was created to oversee and administer the 1-million-square-mile South China Sea, which straddles large chunks of neighboring countries like the Philippines. The central government in Beijing gave Sansha City the authority “to board, seize, and expel foreign ships” within its jurisdiction.

This was preceded by a series of provocative moves by China against the Philippines, including the 2012 occupation of the Scarborough Shoal by 90 Chinese ships, an increased Chinese military presence at Ayungin Reef, and a Chinese general’s boastful exposition of China’s “cabbage strategy,” which is to surround Philippine territories with a massive Chinese naval presence to starve Filipino detachments and prevent reinforcements from reaching them.

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