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Palace to opposition: Stick to issues, shun publicity stunts


By Genalyn Kabiling

Opposition groups should engage in constructive debates on national issues rather than getting involved in publicity stunts, according to a Palace official.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque speaks during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque  (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque has reminded the opposition about its role in a healthy democracy amid the controversial placement of banners declaring the Philippines a province of China on some Metro Manila roads.

“Ang problema dito sa oposisyon, walang matinong ginagawa. Eh kung sila ba naman ay nakikipagdebate na lang ng issues kaysa naglalagay ng ganiyang mga tarpaulin eh di maniniwala pa ang taumbayan sa kanila [The problem with the opposition is they don’t nothing sensible. If they just engage in debates on issues instead of placing those tarpaulins, the public might even believe them],” Roque said in a recent radio interview.

He said the opposition is important to a nation’s democracy but should not get involved in such disrespectful activities.

“Importante po ang oposisyon sa demokrasya, pero kinakailangan po issues tayo, huwag ganiyang mga… Ilagay po natin sa tama [The opposition is important to democracy but we must focus on issues, not those… Let’s do it right],” he said.

Large red banners with the message: ‘Welcome to the Philippines, a province of China’, were attached on several some footbridges in Metro Manila last week, which was aslso the second anniversary of arbitration ruling by a UN-recognized tribunal that nullified China’s excessive claims in the West Philippine Sea.

The message was an apparent mockery of the President’s recent meeting with Filipino-Chinese businessmen, when he joked about turning the country into a province of China.

The tarpaulins have since been taken down by authorities.

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