A former policeman and Laguna mayor set fire to flags of China and the United States in front of a building hosting China’s consulate in the Philippines in Makati City before noon Monday.
Ex-mayor Abner Afuang also insisted that the Panatag Shoal (international name: Scarborough Shoal), the site of a weeks-old standoff between the Philippines and China, belongs to the Philippines.
The demonstration was held in front of The World centre in Makati City, where the Chinese consulate is located, radio dzBB’s Manny Vargas reported.
During his demonstration, Afuang burned two Chinese flags and then burned a United States flag, claiming the US showed disrespect for Filipinos by not allowing media coverage of the recently concluded Philippine-US Balikatan military exercises.
It was not the first time Afuang was involved in a flag-burning incident. In 1995, he burned the Singaporean flag at the height of rallies to save Filipino worker Flor Contemplacion, who was convicted for killing her ward, from execution by hanging.
One of his more recent high-profile incidents was the “baptism” of doctor Hayden Kho Jr. at a Senate hearing in 2009.
At the time, Afuang poured water on Kho at a Senate hearing looking into the alleged violation of the rights of actress-model Katrina Irene Pe Halili. Afuang was arrested and spent a night at a police station for his deed.
The Philippines and China have engaged in a weeks-old standoff off Panatag Shoal since Philippine military forces spotted Chinese fishermen taking marine species from the area.