Several netizens noticed that several tarpaulins with the words “Welcome To The Philippines, Province of China” suddenly appeared along Metro Manila.
The tarps were hung during the second anniversary of the international tribunal ruling favoring the Philippines’ claims over the South China Sea.
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay posted one of the tarpaulins on his Twitter page, and he said that the tarp is not “funny.”
He urged the members of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Local Government Units and civilians to immediately take the tarpaulins down if they saw one.
“NOT FUNNY. On this day, July 12, we commemorate our victory in the Philippines v. China. On Metro Manila footbridges, these tarps suddenly appear. MMDA, LGUs, and citizens should immediately take these down.” Hilbay said.
On this day, July 12, we commemorate our victory in Philippines v. China.
On Metro Manila footbridges, these tarps suddenly appear.
MMDA, LGUs, and citizens should immediately take these down. pic.twitter.com/gDR6BMbojI
— florin hilbay (@fthilbay) July 11, 2018
Some netizens also took a photo of the tarps.
Photo: Luisito Antonio Santos
It’s not yet known why the tarpaulins were hung along Metro Manila.
President Duterte is known for being close to China and even joked before that he wants the Philippines to become a province of China.
“Gusto ninyo gawain na lang ninyo kaming province, Fujian pati Philippine province of China, eh ‘di wala tayong problema,” Duterte told Filipino-Chinese businessmen in a speech in February.
Meanwhile, Journalist Malou Tiquia believes that the critics of President Rodrigo Duterte placed the tarps as part of the destabilization against the government.
According to her, the tarps were made to mock Duterte, and it was also an attempt to made the public angry to the administration as the 3rd State of the Nation Address of the President is already near.
“A malicious operation done by a group supposedly to instigate fire and anger among Filipinos. Mocking Duterte and the sensibilities of all, ensuring noise reach high decibels for a grand march during SONA. All these lead up to a No El scenario since Duterte will be removed October. If not, “Duterte will surely call for Martial Law.” Tiquia said in her Facebook post.
“This is the present day opposition. Reckless and no regard for country. And someone said, “Duterte destroyed the economy Aquino built.” Had to look hard at that person. Really hard…” she added.