Duterte’s China Syndrome

It is painful to observe the cowardly acts being taken by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China.

We truly abhor using such extreme language to describe the elected leader of our beloved homeland, but how else can Mr. Duterte be referred to but as lapdog to China?

Indeed, a man can only be known not by his words but by his deeds.

He talks the talk but almost always backtracks on his statements, failing again and again to walk the walk. Remember when he was campaigning for president? He said that he would play superhero by taking a jet ski to Scarborough Shoal and planting a Philippine flag there.

Guess what? He never went to the place, and has willingly surrendered control to China without a single shot being fired. The spot which is so much closer to the Philippines than to China is now considered part of Chinese territory.

Mr. Duterte said most recently that China had better not invade the Philippines because it would be bloody for both sides. Yet we received confirmation in a Senate hearing this week that hundreds of thousands of Chinese have already occupied the Philippines, specifically its business centers where they are employed sans work permits.

Quite recently, Mr. Duterte welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country for a state visit. And what a visit it was. Xi received a welcome far beyond what could be considered friendly. For all intents, it appeared subservient.

Mr. Duterte was not Robin to Xi’s Batman, but more like monkey to an organ grinder master.

During welcome ceremonies for the Chinese leader, when he should have marched shoulder to shoulder with Xi he meekly followed a few steps behind. Where the Philippine flag should have been prominent as host country, the Philippine’s colors were set aside. Finally, where an all-important maritime agreement should have been prepared by the two sides, he allowed China to prepare the draft with little input from the Philippine government.

Worst of all, Mr. Duterte has ignored global warnings of China’s true intentions by availing of loans at usurious rates. Such loans are intended to fund his “Build BuildBuild” infrastructure program, but will only burden the Filipino people for decades to come as the country simply has no capacity to pay for them.

More than a hundred million Filipinos will be paying for Mr. Duterte’s loans long after he has left this mortal plane. Sound familiar? He is following the example set by his idol Ferdinand Marcos.

A syndrome is defined as a group of signs that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality.

All signs point to Mr. Duterte having a morbid fear of China and a willingness to surrender the country’s very independence in order to never displease his Chinese masters.

Retired Ombudsman ConchitaCarpio-Morales said it best: The country can survive practically anything, but the Philippines cannot survive treason from within.

The Philippines cannot survive as an independent republic much longer if Rodrigo Duterte remains at the helm.