Representatives of Gabriela Women’s Party on Tuesday said the value of country’s independence has been reduced to “noodles” under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The lawmakers made the statement in reference to the admission of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque that the Chinese Coast Guard has been giving Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal noodles, cigarettes and clean water in exchange for the fish seized from them.
“Philippine independence has never been this cheap under President Duterte’s brazen subservience to foreign powers. Pwede palang noodles at yosi lang ang kapalit ng kalayaang ipinaglaban nina Gabriela Silang at ibang bayani,” Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi De Jesus said in a statement.
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Monday, Roque admitted that the Filipino fishermen receive noodles and other goods from the Chinese Coast Guard whenever they get fish from them.
But De Jesus said that it is not only fish that the Chinese Coast Guard steals every time they harass Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea, but also the freedom and the dignity of the country to stand up against foreign invaders.
“Kaya insulto na ipagmalaki pa ng Palasyo na binigyan naman daw ng noodles at yosi ang mga mangingisdang inagawan ng huli,” she said.
For her part, Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas said Roque’s statement only shows how the lives of Filipinos have cheapened under the Duterte administration.
“It’s as if Malacanang is also saying that Filipinos should be contented with noodles in exchange for whatever that is robbed from them. This illustrates how our lives have also become so cheap with the unabated price hikes and stagnant wages under Duterte,” she said.
“Ganito tayo tingnan ng Palasyo, na magkasya na lang sa noodles ang mga Pilipino dahil sa ngayon ay ito ang pinakamurang pantawid gutom ng mga pamilyang Pilipino,” she added.
Brosas pointed out that the suffering of a majority of poor Filipinos is aggravated by the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“The country is now at 120 years since the supposed independence but Filipinos continue to reel from widespread poverty, mendicant foreign policy, and brutal killings which are condoned by the state,” she said.
“There is no cause for celebration today except the continuing struggle of women and people for genuine independence,” Brosas added. (By KarlKaufman/Erwin Colcol, GMA News)