The odds are getting louder and visible and no matter how one attempts to rationalize the attitude of President Rodrigo Duterte towards China it becomes even harder not to put malice and doubts.
China is a neighbor and has long since influenced the way Filipinos live even up to the last imitation of Gucci bag being carried by many Filipinas or even a fake painting of Michelangelo hanging on Filipino houses are made from China.
We can appreciate the affinity of the President towards our Chinese neighbors by simply looking at the past. China has never conquered a country and the Philippines particularly unlike the United States of America who did not just forcibly occupy the Philippines killing several thousands of Filipinos but also denied Duterte when he applied for a US visa during the early days of his political career as mayor of Davao City.
On an academic note, the attempt of Duterte to get closer to China even to the point of having his neck on leash by the Chinese government could be a tactical initiative to gain leverage and earn the respect of other countries or encourage more donations for First World countries like the US.
The street smart Duterte is as wise and astute as those leaders from around the world and so probably he is simply trying to loss some and win some or maybe more with his Chinese-leaning diplomacy.
He attacked the US government and after a long time, the famous Balangiga Bells taken by American soldiers as war booty was hastily returned to the Philippines.
Today, the Americans are hell-bent in pushing themselves to the country and are flooding the government with military offers that was never tendered before.
Somehow, in trying to best understand Duterte, it’s best to lay down some readings less the usual sarcasm and criticism which his supporters are very allergic of and brand them downright as yellowtards as if anything that is said against Duterte is paid so it has to be pro him or else be called a hack.
Unfortunately, the recent incidents are ominous. The filling of a case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, Netherlands against Chinese President Xi Jinping by former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Supreme Court Justice and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales triggered the opening of best kept dark secrets and even onerous provisions of Philippine loan contracts with China.
Both Del Rosario and Carpio-Morales wanted Xi’s head for crimes against humanity and causing environmental damage at the South China Sea for the military structures China has erected. It included several Chinese officials.
Short of dismissing the complaint as non sense, Malacanang said that such complaint won’t hold water against China and it’s officials and it will not harm the relationship of the country with China.
However, such case prompted Malacanang to issue a hopeless and stupid statement of outright surrender of the country’s sovereignty to China. “Sila yung may control as of now. Meron silang pwersa dun. We can only protest like any other country like Vietnam…Saka yun lang ang magagawa natin. You want us to declare war against them?”, said Salvador Panelo, the spokesman of the palace.
Nobody declared or is intending to wage war against China. Afterall it was the president during his presidential campaign who said that he will sail to the disputed reef and plant the flag of the country if he must in order to assert the sovereignty of the country.
The very purpose of filing a case in fact assumes that the complainant wanted the rule of law to settle a dispute instead of using force. It’s hard to fathom that the Office of the President are so desperate in equating any protest be it a case filed or a criticism against China to war.
Indonesia and Vietnam asserted their sovereignty against China and until now not a single bomb exploded among the nations.
It’s inconceivable to imagine a president and a fiesty leader in Duterte who has declared willingness to go to hell if necessary for killing every Filipino involve in illegal drugs and call former US President Barack Obama a son of a bitch yet is afraid to spurt his classic ‘putang ina’ against Chinese nationals apprehended by authorities of involvement on billion peso drug busts.
His soft stance against Chinese offenders in the country is expected as he won’t even protest the abuses and threats hurled by Chinese naval forces against Filipino fishermen doing their things at the West Philippine Sea.
He lied on the number of Filipinos staying in China just to protect the Chinese citizens who were caught working in the country without proper documentation. He said he cannot compromise the 300,000 Filipinos working in China over a few hundreds of undocumented Chinese in the Philippines.
The case filed by Carpio-Morales and Del Rosario caused so much noise that upon prodding by its critics Malacanang was forced to admit that they have made the natural oil-rich Recto Reef as collateral to the US62 million dollar loan with China by including it in the signed loan contract.
On the anti-illegal drugs campaign front, a former police official Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto has come out and accused Presidential Economic Adviser Michael Yang and another Chinese associate of Duterte, Allan Lim to have operated drug laboratories in Davao City during the president’s Incumbency as city Mayor.
The timing of the revelations of Acierto is highly questionable. So, let us taint him as an opposition ammunition to begin a fair discussion. It’s election time and both sides are looking for muds to throw against each other. So Acierto is a dirty and an anomalous asset
However, why did Malacanang quickly declared that Yang’s contract has already expired and was no longer renewed? More interestingly, when Yang’s name came out in public late last 2017, Duterte denied knowing him. It turned out a month before the presidential elections that put him in Malacanang, he was a special guest of Yang in China.
Duterte also denied appointing Yang in his cabinet. Rappler, an online news organization, published the appointment of Yang as Presidential Economic Adviser and Duterte was left with no choice but to admit even if he was made to look stupid and the worst liar by his act. The appointment of Yang was unprecedented. No president in his right mind has ever appointed a foreigner in his cabinet.
Now, Acierto is accusing Duterte of coddling drug lords in Yang and Lim. The police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was quick to conduct a 24-hour verification in order to dismiss the allegations of Acierto. Suspiciously, Duterte has ordered the immediate execution of Acierto by the police and the military.
Why is the president willing to have Acierto killed if the allegations are not true?
The dots are slowly getting connected. Answers are being provided voluntarily. Somehow, the odd Chinese connection of the Duterte administration
Is getting even and clearer. We can only hope that the Chinese hates drugs.