President Duterte has proved himself the stooge of totalitarian Communist China when against the interest of the Philippines and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), he removed all statements expressing concern over Beijing’s encroachments on the West Philippine Sea during the Asean summit.
Parroting the Beijing line that the situation should not be aggravated further—especially since China has already aggravated matters by reclaiming reefs and atolls in the sea as against the claims of several Asean countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, and even against environmental interests—Duterte apparently did Beijing’s bidding and ordered Philippine diplomats to drop any restatement of the last Asean communique in Laos, in which the Asean had basically criticized China over its aggressive conduct in the West Philippine Sea.
Since Manila is hosting the Asean summit this year and he is therefore chair, Duterte could have used his position to defend Philippine territorial interest and uphold Asean’s interest as well. But the summit communique last May 1 articulated the interest of Duterte’s totalitarian bosses in Beijing.
In the statement, Asean leaders purportedly “reaffirmed the importance of the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoiding actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursuing peaceful resolution of disputes, without resorting to the threat or use of force.”
By ordering the removal of any mention of international concerns over China’s “militarization” of newly built islands in the disputed South China Sea, Duterte has basically committed the treasonous act of ceding sovereignty of the Philippines on islands to China.
The Philippines, because of Duterte’s betrayal of the Filipinos, has therefore missed her chances to reinforce the arbitral ruling that disproved China’s claim to majority of the South China Sea.
The decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in July 2016 was in favor of the country, which said China has no right to exploit the resources in the disputed island “within the Philippines 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.”
Moreover, Duterte even referred to China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea as “recent developments in the area.” How about the developments for his own country?
But what’s worse is the fact that the original statement was watered down on Duterte’s own orders.
The Associated Press (AP) earlier reported that it saw changes of the speech based on a previous draft of the joint communiqué issued by the Asean leaders.
According to the AP report, a foreign diplomat based in Manila said the Philippines originally distributed to other Asean members a much stronger stance on the issue.
Backed by other governments, Duterte was advised to stand firm against China, but to no avail.
Where was the Duterte who promised during one of the presidential debates last year that he would ride a jet ski to the disputed islands just to defend the Philippines?
It seems Duterte was merely showing off or bluffing.
The true Duterte is a coward; he has basically chickened out (with apologies to our fine-feathered friends).
A virtual warmonger against the US and the European Union and anyone who would dare oppose his genocidal drug wars, Duterte has sought to shore himself up by kowtowing to Beijing and Moscow and other totalitarian regimes.
He seems closest to Beijing whose mouthpiece he has become. When someone quacks and walks like a duck, he must be Peking’s duck.