Manila has duty of protection

Manila has duty of protection
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (R) and National Bureau of Investigation director Virgilio Mendez (L) display seized improvised firebombs and firearms in Manila on September 2, 2014 after three men, who were detained the day before at the airport with an explosive-laden van, had planned a series of consecutive attacks, apparently to publicise their anti-China grievances, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told reporters.

A total of 12 kidnappings, 10 murders and three robberies targeted at Chinese citizens have occurred in the Philippines from Jan 1 to Sept 18, in which 18 Chinese nationals were killed and another 12 were victims of thefts, statistics from the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines have indicated.

Regrettably, no murderers, robbers or thieves have so far been prosecuted or even detained by the Philippine authorities.

"The Philippines holds no hostility toward Chinese citizens and Filipinos have not targeted unfriendly activities at Chinese," a spokesperson from the Philippine Presidential Palace said on Sept 17, in response to inquiries from the Chinese side. "Everyone should know that similar crimes occasionally occur, not in the Philippines alone, but also in the rest of the world."

On Sept 19, the Philippine Embassy in China said, "The Philippine government attaches high importance to the safety of tourists and visitors and their vital interests, and will take resolute actions to bring criminals to justice."

Yet the fact of the matter is a number of Chinese citizens have been killed or harassed and the perpetrators of these crimes still remain at large. The lack of action by the Philippine government and its hollow remarks in self-defence are nauseating.

The Philippine government should undertake its due responsibilities and resolutely investigate any crimes against Chinese citizens within its territory.

The Philippines is obliged to guarantee legitimate rights and interests of foreign people staying within its territory, including Chinese. According to international laws, all foreign people, once admitted to a country, should abide by its laws and decrees, but the country concerned is also obliged to protect the legal rights and interests of foreigners, including their personal safety and property, and ensure that they are not discriminated against. This means the Philippine government has a duty to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens within its territory and to ensure they are not the victims of discrimination.

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