Palace says Duterte critics "desperate" in creating hatred vs his policy towards China
Malacanang accused on Monday critics of President Rodrigo Duterte of becoming "desperate" following a survey that showed four out of 10 Filipinos expressed doubt on the "good" interntions of China towards the Philippines.
"The President’s ardent critics and detractors have become desperate in employing its anti-China card against the Duterte administration," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
He cited what he called as "two unsuccessful attempts" in creating fear and hatred against the policies of the Duterte administration with regard to its relations with China.
"First, the China debt trap scare tactics, which have been competently fended off by our economic managers in the case of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project Loan Agreement, and second, the International Criminal Court challenge against China waged by former Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, now comes another political propaganda purportedly saying that 44 percent -- which is not actually a figure representing a majority -- disagree that the Chinese government has good intentions for the Filipino people," he said.
A latest survey by the Social Weather Stations showed 44 percent of Filipino adults disagreed with the statement that "most of what Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for the Filipinos."
Panelo noted that in the same survey, 27 percent of the respondents believed that most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines are good for the Filipinos and 29 percent remained undecided about the matter.
"We are seeing that there would be a change of hearts and minds from those undecided and even those who disagree -- whom we believe are used to the United States as our long-standing ally - once our enhanced ties with China start to yield positive economic results," he said.
Panelo said Filipinos must be informed on the need to expand the Philippine relations outside of its traditional allies, such as the US and Japan, "so they would have a deeper understanding and better appreciation of why President Duterte has charted a path of broader diplomatic relations with the international community."
"With such mindset, they will realize that all these policies of the Administration are intended not for any foreign race or nationality but for the sole benefit of the Filipino people," he said.
The Philippines and China have been embroiled in a territorial dispute involving South China Sea.
But the Duterte administration has decided to take a friendlier and softer stance towards China despite the latter's aggressive actions in the South China Sea, including those within the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. Celerina Monte/DMS