Chinese Embassy condemns 'staged' photos of flag vendors

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Chinese Embassy condemns 'staged' photos of flag vendors
The alleged sale of Chinese flags happened ahead of the Philippine Independence Day commemoration in Rizal Park tomorrow.

MANILA, Philippines— The Chinese Embassy on Tuesday condemned supposedly staged photos of Filipinos selling Chinese flags at the Rizal Park in Manila.

The embassy said it had noticed that the photos had caught the attention of people on social media.

"For this matter, if it was done with good intentions to celebrate China-Philippines Friendship Day, you are welcomed. However, if it is done to undermine the China-Philippines relations, we condemn it!" the Chinese Embassy said on Twitter.

The Philippines marked Philippines-China Friendship Day is on June 9.

Photos of Filipinos vendors allegedly selling Chinese flags circulated online over the weekend, angering some social media users who said it was disrespectful to do so.

RELATED: 'Frustration over sea dispute no reason to hate Chinese people'

On Sunday, National Parks Development Committee Executive Director Penelope Belmonte interrogated the vendors who were allegedly selling the Chinese flags. The vendors said the flag sale was “staged” and they were just paid P100 to act like they were selling the flags.

Belmonte said she has nothing against the vendors but selling anything inside the premises of the Rizal Park is prohibited.

The four vendors, one of whom is a minor, were arrested by security guards after they were identified through the closed-circuit television footage. 

READ: 4 held for selling Chinese flags

The park official said she is planning to take legal action against the men who "staged the incident to make it look like that selling of flags inside the Rizal Park premises is allowed by the management.”

Belmonte condemned how the Rizal Park and the innocent vendors were used for this “malicious issue.”

“Hindi ako makakapayag na ganun ganun na lang bastusin ang pambansang liwasan,” Belmonte said in a statement on Monday.

(I won’t allow disrespecting the national park like that)

“Walang kapatawaran ang ginawang pambabastos sa pambansang liwasan. Gumamit sila ng inosente at mahihirap nating kababayan para mapagtagumpayan ang masama nilang balak na sirain ang administrasyong ito. Nagkamali sila dahil dito sa Rizal Park, we make sure everything is monitored and that tourists, park goers and especially our kababayans are safe," she added.

(This disrespect to the national park is unforgiveable. They used innocent and poor Filipinos to achieve their plan to malign this administration. They made a mistake doing it at Rizal Park where we make sure everything is monitored and that tourists, park goers and especially our kababayans are safe.)

RELATED: Banners welcome visitors to 'Philippines, province of China'

Locsin: US will be selling flags too

Reacting to those concerned on the China flag sale, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday advised them to not fret citing that the sale was only made to celebrate the Chinese-Filipino Friendship China Day.

June 9 was declared the Chinese-Filipino Day. This year, the two countries are celebrating its 18th friendship day.

“Don't fret. They will be selling the US flag on Philippine-US Friendship Day as well; plus tarpaulin with the text of our Mutual Defense Treaty which threatens World War III when either party has been attacked by any country not invited to da party,” Locsin said on Twitter in response to a frustrated online user.

Meanwhile, Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police chief, ordered Brig. Gen.Vicente Danao of the Manila Police District to identify the persons behind the incident.

Three men were reportedly behind the “staged” flag sale according to the CCTV footage in the Rizal Park premises.

RELATED: PNP to probe ‘staged’ sale of Chinese flags

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