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“Ako po si Mariel Ipan galing po sa (Cagayan de Oro City) Balingasag Misamis Oriental, young professional and civil service eligibility professional level passer. Anak po ako ng isang cosmetics dealer at ng isang pulis.” Mariel Ipan said introducing herself to Tankler. Using a 90 foot wooden fishing boat, Ipan together with other members of Philippine advocacy group Kalayaan Atin Ito sails to waters near Scarborough Shoal, where they were confronted by Chinese coast guard vessels. When asked how it feels to have a standoff with Chinese Coast Guards (CCG), Ipan said “hindi po ako natakot sa kanila, yun po ang totoo. Mas takot po akong mawalan ng lakas ng loob ang mga kasama ko, failing them is like failing the Filipino people.”
“Actually hindi po ako magaling lumangoy, marunong lang po ng konti pang 5ft nga lang po yung kaya ko hindi yung lagpas sakin pero desidido po akong i-divert ang attention ng CCG na hinaharass na mga kasama ko and at the same time itaas ang Philippine flag una dahil ayaw kong mawalan ng lakas ng loob ang mga kasama ko sa barko at mahal ko po bayan natin gusto ko din mahalin to ng kapwa ko kabataan and I really want to raise our Philippine Flag there kasi satin po ang Scarborough, teritoryo po natin yun,” Ipan said.
“Nung papunta na sakin ang CCG I kept repeating to myself “gagawin ko ito para sa bayan ko” pagdating ko po sa Scarborough ring, tinaas ko na yung flag at winagayway as high as I can, tinawag ko yung mga kasama ko gusto ko sanang yung best swimmer namin at pinaka matangkad ang mag raise ng flag para mas makita ng mga kasama ko pong naiwan sa lantsa na nagtagumpay kami at mabuhayan sila ng loob pero kasing height ko lang po ang medyo malapit kaya sinabihan ko siyang lumangoy papunta sakin at iangat ako para makita ng mga kasama namin at mabuhayan sila ng loob. after noon iniikutan na kami ng 2 CCG, ngalay na ngalay na paa ko at sobrang hapdi ng mata ko dahil binobomba na kami ng tubig galing sa propeller nila ang dami ko na din nainum na tubig dagat hirap na ako huminga worst muntik pa ako matamaan ng propeller, I was telling the CCG “Hey! I might get hit with your propeller” pero Hindi sila huminto pinush ko po sarili ko palayo sa speed boat nila sinabihan ko kasama ko na hilahin ako dahil matatamaan na talaga ako for a moment there I thought I was going to die but I told myself it would be a sweet death dying under the Philippine Flag. If I’ll die there at Scarborough for sure mamumulat at gagalaw ang buong Mundo hinggil sa issue natin sa West Philippine Sea. It will be all worth it.” she added.
Ipan also gave a message of patriotism addressing all Filipinos; “I can only do so much for our country. Hindi po namin ito kaya ng kakaunti lang po kami. Nasakop na po tayo ng bansang China Let us pick up the cudgels and fight in a peaceful and legal ways that abides in the International Law of the Sea. Magka-isa po tayo and show our love and respect for our country let us not allow any countries to block us and steal our territory. Sana po dahil sa ginawa namin namulat ang ating mga kababayan lalong lalo na ang mga kabataan na mahalin at paglingkuran ng libre without any vested self interest ang bayan natin. Mahalin po natin bansa natin.” Expressing her personal reaction to China’s recent warning regarding their trip in Scarborough Shoal, Ipan told Tankler that they will visit West Philippine Sea more often. “Scarborough Shoal is ours, it is a Philippine territory… We will be visiting our territory’s at Kalayaan Island Group and Scarborough more often now.” In social media post, Kalayaan Atin Ito said they had managed to enter Scarborough shoal’s c-shaped lagoon. The group also posted some videos covering their preparations, the standoff and the crew of activists. -Isreal Blaza, Gem Fuentes, Tankler.com
Source: tankler.com

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