Palace backs order to withdraw ‘Pine Gap’ over 9-dash line

Palace backs order to withdraw ‘Pine Gap’ over 9-dash line

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday expressed support for the Philippine government’s order to video streaming firm Netflix to remove parts of the Australian drama series “Pine Gap” which featured China’s nine-dash line in the South China Sea (SCS).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace supports the directive to Netflix to cut out episodes two and three of Pine Gap which showed China’s “inaccurate” depiction of its claims over the highly contested SCS.

This, after the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), in its decision dated Sept. 28, demanded the immediate pull out of the two episodes for showing a map of China’s nine-dash line that violates the Philippines’ sovereignty.

“Suportado po iyan dahil ang MTRCB naman po ay under the Office of the President din mismo (We support that because MTRCB is under the Office of the President),” Roque said in a virtual presser.

The MTRCB’s decision stemmed from the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) complaint against the portrayal of the “illegal” nine-dash line in Pine Gap.

Roque agreed with the DFA, saying it was inappropriate to show China’s nine-dash line, a geographical marker Beijing invoked to assert its extensive claims in the SCS.

“Ang Department of Foreign Affairs ang humingi sa MTRCB na huwag ipalabas ito sa ating bayan dahil ito nga po ay (The Department of Foreign Affairs asked the MTRCB not to feature [the nine-dash line in the country because that is really) based on very inaccurate scope of the Chinese territory,” he said.

The MTRCB ruled that Pine Gap’s certain episodes are “unfit for public exhibition,” stressing that the portrayal of Beijing’s nine-dash line is “no accident as it was consciously designed and calculated” to convey a message that the invisible demarcation “legitimately exists.”

The MTRCB added that such portrayal is a “crafty attempt to perpetuate and memorialize in the consciousness of the present generation of viewers and the generations to come the illegal nine-dash line.”

The Philippines has competing claims with China in SCS.

China is claiming ownership over nearly 90 percent of the busy waterway.

On July 12, 2016, Manila won the arbitration case it lodged against Beijing after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim over the contested waters.

Duterte, during his intervention at the 24th summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China on Oct. 26, said the PCA ruling on SCS “singles out no one” and gives “clarity” to all claimants.

He added that sea ruling “justly favors and benefits the community of law-abiding nations.”

Apart from the Philippines and China, other SCS claimants include Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan. (PNA)

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