CHICAGO (JGL) – Filipino and Vietnamese Americans closed ranks Thursday (July 24) in Washington, D.C. to denounce China for encroaching into the Philippine and Vietnam territorial seas.The rallyists composed of U.S. Pinoys For Good Governance (USP4GG), the Movement for Free Philippines (MFP), the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans (ACFB) and the Voice of Vietnamese Americans (Va.) urged Chinese Embassy “to withdraw its People Liberation Army forces from the Philippine and Vietnam territorial seas.”
Eric Lachica, ACFV volunteer executive director and one of the organizers of the rally, said the overcast sky did not dampen the enthusiasm of the demonstrators from gathering in front of the Chinese Embassy.
“Glad it did not rain! We had dozen leaders join our protest… a lot of good singing, speeches & photo ops (and a dozen friendly cops!). We were covered by Tokyo Broadcast System Television.”
Celestino Almeda, 97, spokesman of ACFV, delivered a message, telling Chinese President Xi Jingping, paramount leader of China and the Communist Chinese Party, to “withdraw his Peoples Liberation Army forces from Philippine and Vietnamese territorial seas.
“We want him to comply with United Nations maritime laws and the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones under international laws.
“We are here to campaign, to fight for PEACE and JUSTICE … for our hardworking peoples in Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, Tibet and others.
“We are not here to fight with our hard working Chinese brothers and sisters. We want peaceful cooperation of their government with ours in Asia and to respect the International Tribunal of the Convention Laws of the Seas (ITLOS).”
Ms. Genie Nguyen of Voice of Vietnamese America issued a Vietnamese solidarity statement during the rally that also featured the singing of Philippine national anthem and God Bless America interpreted by Ms. Daisy Tucay, R.N. (ret.) of the U.S. Medicare Philippines and the USP4GG, chanting of slogans and prayers.
Others who joined the noonday rally included Maurese Owens of MFP, Tess Taylor, a retired businesswoman from Iloilo; Steve Hermossima, businesswoman of Maryland; photographer Priscilla Tacujan, Ph. D. of Virginia; Dr. Binh Nguyen of Virginia, and two students from France, Thomas and Piere, who held up flags and banners.
RALLYISTS DENOUNCE CHINA: Filipino and Vietnamese Americans came together to denounce the bullying of China against its tiny Southeast Asian neighbors – the Philippines and Vietnam – during a rally in front of the China Embassy on Thursday (July 24) in Washington, D.C. Rallyists tore to pieces a picture of Chinese Paramount leader President Xi Jingping. (From L to R): Maurese Owens of the Movement Free Philippines, Genie Nguyen of the Voice of Vietnamese Americans, Daisy Tucay of the US Pinoys for Good Governance, Celestino Almeda of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, and Tess Taylor, a retired businesswoman from Iloilo. (JGL Photo contributed photo by Eric Lachica)