TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Red banners proclaiming the Philippines as a "Province of China" spotted hanging in parts of Metro Manila coincided with the second anniversary of the Philippines' South China Sea arbitration victory against China, Manila Bulletin reported.
The red banners showing the text "Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China" were reported to have appeared on several footbridges in Quezon City, and near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City in the early morning of July 12.
According to local media outlets, the Philippines authority did not give the permits for the banners to be posted. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque commented on the issue at a press conference in the morning, saying that the enemies of the government were behind the banners .
One of the first public figures to react with displeasure to the banners was former Filipino Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, who led the Philippines' legal panel to protest against China's claims in the South China Sea.
In a tweet, he said "NOT FUNNY. On this day, July 12, we commemorate our victory in Philippines v. China." and called for authorities and private citizens to take them down immediately.
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations ruled in favor of the Philippines in its arbitration case against China over the South China Sea.
WELCOME TO THE PHILIPPINES, PROVINCE OF CHINA pic.twitter.com/yuibKCarpX— fergal. (@rexxjffrsn) 2018年7月11日