Banners bearing the words “Welcome to the Philippines, province of China” were spotted in the Manila area on July 12, two years after an international tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines over territorial disputes with China.
This footage shows one of the banners hanging from an overpass along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. Below the English text, the banner reads “Welcome to China’s Philippines” in Chinese. The Chinese text is written in Traditional Chinese characters, which are not used on the Chinese mainland.
According to Filipino news organization Rappler, citing Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the banners may have been the work of “enemies” of the Rodrigo Duterte administration.
“They are propagating a lie that we have given up our territory,” Roque told Rappler. “It’s the farthest from the truth…We won’t do anything [to remove the banners], but we know people who want to use it maybe to clean the floor or use it for the toilet.”
Under the Duterte administration, the Philippines has continued to assert its authority to disputed waters and islands in the South China Sea, known locally as the West Philippine Sea. The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines in 2016, but China has refused to acknowledge the ruling. Credit: Anthony S. Comedia via Storyful