Camarines Sur Congressman LRay Villafuerte Denounces China as a “Gaslighter Extraordinaire” in West Philippine Sea Dispute
Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte has criticized China for its handling of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue, branding the country as a “gaslighter extraordinaire.” The ranking congressman has rejected China’s latest offer to reopen diplomatic talks on resolving the territorial dispute in the WPS, citing China’s persistent bullying and harassment of Philippine vessels and fisherfolk.
Villafuerte stated that China has no place at the negotiating table while continuing its gaslighting tactics. He expressed doubt that any diplomatic negotiation with China would lead to a peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute.
The congressman highlighted recent dangerous maneuvers by China’s Coast Guard, accusing the Philippines of deliberately colliding with a Chinese vessel near Ayungin Shoal. He also called out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-run newspaper, Global Times, for its claims that the Philippine vessel intentionally rammed into a Chinese law enforcement boat.
These accusations were swiftly refuted by the Philippine National Task Force on West Philippine Sea, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. calling the Chinese Coast Guard a “liar” for distorting the situation.
Villafuerte also cited Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.’s views that China has no peaceful agenda when it comes to the WPS, further solidifying his stance against engaging in diplomatic talks with China.
The recent incidents of water cannon firing and boat collisions occurred shortly after President Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the WPS issue during a meeting on the sidelines of the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the United States.
Villafuerte’s strong stance against China’s actions in the WPS adds to the growing tensions surrounding the territorial dispute. The congressman’s vocal criticism of China’s gaslighting tactics and refusal to engage in diplomatic talks reflects the Philippine government’s unwavering commitment to defending its sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.