Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats president Martin Romualdez, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, on Tuesday assured China’s top officials they would achieve their goals and mutual interests for the Philippines and China’s greater progress.
In his speech before the Neighborhood Party Talk to Implement the President’s Consensus to Promote China-Philippines Friendship and Banquet held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City, Romualdez made a commitment to the representatives of the Communist Party of China, led by Minister Song Tau and Sun Haiyan, that his Lakas-CMD will work on further strengthening Philippine-China relations.
”With confidence we declare: The LAKAS-CMD Party stands in solidarity with the Communist Party of China in the realization of our shared values, the advancement of both our local and national goals, and the continuation of developmental programs across our nations, Romualdez, who was endorsed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as the Speaker of the incoming 18th Congress, told the crowd.
“We move forward with pride and confidence, knowing that we are walking with one of the most progressive and crucial movers in the Asian region, Romualdez said.
“I am deeply honored to be invited here. As the president of the Lakas-CMD Party, we proudly accept the invitation of the Communist Party of China to become partners for change and all for the betterment of the Filipino society.
Meanwhile, the alleged latest harassment of Chinese coast guard patrols on Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal may be raised by the President during his visit to Beijing next month, the Palace said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the remark after senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares posted a video on Facebook showing the narratives of local fishermen on how the Chinese coast guard personnel would seize their catch and drive them away from the resource-rich waters.
“I think he (Duterte) will raise that as an issue during the visit [to China]. The President immediately raises issues like that, but not in a way that he’d seem to be running amok,” Panelo told ANC in an interview.
In November 2018, Duterte strengthened the country’s bilateral relations with Beijing by accepting the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China in April.
Panelo has previously maintained the Philippine government will “definitely” protest the supposed harassment of Filipino fishermen once proven true.
Beijing and Manila have previously agreed to let fishermen freely navigate the disputed waters except for marine protected areas.
The event in Makati was also attended by representatives from the Nacionalista Party of former Senate President Manny Villar, led by incoming Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar and Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu; the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan vice chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and PDP Laban Vice President for International Affairs and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Administrator/CEO Raul Lambino; lawyer Melvin Matibag; and representative from the Party-List Coalition Foundation Inc. led by COOP-NATCCO Rep. Anthony Bravo.
Romualdez welcomed the “challenge of Song Tau, Minister of the IDCP, to rise to our ranks as district representatives by overseeing the implementation of the Presidents' Consensus to Promote China-Philippine Friendship.
“The relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines go way back to the ninth century when the first ethnic Chinese sailed to the Philippines and interacted with our locals.
“We share many cultures and traditions up to this very day, as shown by our strong Filipino-Chinese Community. Given our long history, it is only right and just that we give our full cooperation in the governance of our countries in order to foster a peaceful and more progressive Southeast Asian region.”
Romualdez cited President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program to propel further developments in the countryside.
“President Duterte’s administration is the golden age for infrastructure in the Philippines, with the Build, Build, Build program of the government. In simple terms, this program translates to more roads, more bridges, ports, and airports are being put in place in order to complement the One Belt, One Road initiative of the CPC to the benefit of not only our own countries in Southeast Asia but to the entire Asian continent.
“Lakas-CMD, as an ally of the President will continue to support his programs by cooperating with the executive department to ensure the smooth and fast delivery of these infrastructure projects and the completion of these programs.
“Despite the effective and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the Philippines, our relationship has still met few criticisms and adverse opinions, opinions that Lakas-CMD believes will change when our people experience the inevitable benefits from the strong friendship that both our countries have cultivated.
“As officials of some of the most renowned political parties in Philippine politics, we are given the distinct responsibility to ensure the seamless integration and cohesion of policies that will cater to the deepening of ties between our counterparts in the Communist Party of China.”
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