Juxtaposed: Hontiveros approves tweet about WPS, Lucy Torres treats China as ‘bully-friend’

June 8, 2021 - 4:57 PM
Left: Sen. Risa Hontiveros via Facebook Right: Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez via Instagram

Sen. Risa Hontiveros reacted to a humorous post about the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.

This came after Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez (Leyte) stated in an interview that the government should appeal to China’s “good side” despite it being a “bully” to the Philippines.

In a social media post on Monday, Hontiveros shared a screenshot of a quote-tweet of a photo showing a beautiful, pink satin gown.

A Twitter user quote-retweeted it and made a wordplay of the word “satin” to refer to the Filipino words “sa atin” or “sa’tin.”

“Satin…ang West Philippine Sea,” the tweet reads.

The lawmaker eventually noticed this and made a screenshot of it.

In her post, Hontiveros said: “Happy Monday! #AtinAngPinas #WestPhilippineSea.”


Hontiveros’ post garnered more than 880 shares on the platform and received 7,700 reactions, most of which were positive. There were 4,000 laugh emojis, 1,900 heart emojis and 1,600 likes.

Twitter user @porknielaga who initially shared the post thanked the senator for re-posting his tweet.

“Salamat po sa clout,” the user quipped.

The landmark ruling before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016 recognized the Philippines’ rights in the West Philippine Sea and invalidated Beijing’s sweeping claims over the entire South China Sea.

This includes the Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc that lies within the Philippines’ continental shelf and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

‘Appeal to their good side’

These views ran counter to the remark Rep. Torres-Gomez made in an interview with ANC. A clip of it was released on YouTube on Monday.

Torres-Gomez acknowledged the importance of The Hague ruling and asserting the country’s sovereignty.

“I believe it is right that we are asserting our sovereignty using diplomatic and legal means. China is a bully. China is the biggest bully,” the lawmaker said.

However, Torres-Gomez described China as a “bully-friend” that Filipinos should appeal to instead, citing the Asian giant being “bigger”, having “more arms” and “more muscle.”

“But China is also a friend and we all know that bully-friend that we all had in school. Even as adults, we all have bully-friends. So how do you deal with a bully?” she said.

“You do not ask the bully to fight especially if he has more arms, more muscle, he is bigger than you. What do you with the bully? You appeal to his good side because this bully is also a friend,” she added.

A provincial publication called Mindanao Daily Mirror made a quote card of Torres-Gomez’s remarks and posted it on Facebook.

Screenshots of it had since been shared across Facebook, Twitter and even on subreddit r/Philippines as Filipinos criticized Torres-Gomez’s remarks on how to handle the territorial row.

“By Lucy Torres’ logic, pag may bullying sa school sabihin lang dapat ng principal or guidance councilor na ‘appeal to his good side because he is also a friend?’” a Twitter user said.

“Imagine Lucy Torres as a principal. Student: Ma’am, binugbog po ako ng bully kanina. Lucy: Ay nako, you should appeal to his good side na huwag na nang bugbugin ulit,” another user wrote.

A Reddit user described the lawmaker as a “modern-day Buencamino” in reference to Felipe Buencamino Sr. Buencamino is a Filipino lawyer who sided with the Spaniards during the Philippine Revolution and later the Americans during the start of the American occupation.

The online user also shared a side-by-side graphic of the quote card and a screenshot of a tweet that read: “Without mutual respect, there can be no friendship. But bullies will only learn to respect you once you refuse to be the victim.”

“Female modern-day Buencamino gets destroyed by facts and Logic(o),” the Redditor said.