‘Continuity’ means more of Duterte’s slavish kowtowing to China
Kudos to Richard Heydarian for reminding Filipino voters come May 2022 how this country has been “taken for a ride” by China, whose “pledges of investments” in return for President Duterte kissing President Xi Jinping’s ass have been more illusory than real (“After Duterte: Avoiding China’s ‘pledge trap’,” 11/30/21).
Heydarian noted, among others, that after all these years, “Mr. Duterte can’t pinpoint even a single major concession by China in the West Philippine Sea, where an armada of Chinese paramilitary vessels have been harassing Filipino troops and fishermen on a regular basis … Neither can he point out any real big-ticket investment by his strategic patron.”
In other words, for more than five years now, the cunning president of China has made a fool of our President who, for all his bravado and braggadocio, is really so naïve and clueless. Compared with other Asian leaders who are standing their ground against China’s bullying, our President slavishly kowtows to China.
Just about the only thing Mr. Duterte can boast of as a direct result of his subservience to China is the fulfillment of its assurance that “China won’t allow his ouster” (Inquirer.net, 5/15/2018).
So, after Mr. Duterte, what will happen next? “The next Philippines president will have to avoid the same strategic blunders,” Heydarian wrote. But if poll surveys are to be believed, there’s a good chance presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos will make it to Malacañang. And Marcos Jr. has been campaigning for “continuity” of the Duterte brand of governance, including the same stupidity vis-à-vis China.
REY CHAVEZ ESCOBAR
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