Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has asserted that allowing China to play a dominating role in the country’s national development bears all hallmarks of a traitorous sell-out of the Philippines’ sovereignty and national patrimony by the Duterte administration.
De Lima noted that the break in protocol during Chinese President Xi Jin Ping’s recent two-day state visit from Nov. 20 to 21 when he was welcomed as a “victorious conqueror” only showed a sign of the country’s subservience to China.
“The break in protocol during the Malacañang honor guard ceremony for Chinese President Xi Jinping is very symbolic of the purpose of his State visit. The purpose was to cement the Philippines’ inclusion into China’s sphere of influence, if not domination,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 422.
“Indeed, a nation can fight and resist invaders. But when its own President and public officials decide to sell the country for thirty pieces of silver, the betrayal is almost irreversible. The invader no longer needs to land its troops on our soil, when our own leaders are themselves the agents of the conqueror in our midst,” she added.
During the honor guard ceremony last Nov. 20, Malacañang allowed the Chinese flag to be displayed exclusively, without the Philippine presidential standard flag, and with Duterte following meekly behind the Chinese President.
In the two-day state visit of Xi, he and Duterte reportedly signed 29 deals including memorandum of understanding on oil and gas development and on cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative.
For De Lima, the Filipinos do not need China to give them money because the only thing that China has to do is to get out and stay out of the West Philippine Sea.
“As the lender, China is poised to exercise more control over the projects than in previous loan agreements with other countries. This includes the utilization of China’s infrastructure resources, including employment of its technical personnel in the projects,” she said.
“All the while, China continues to undermine the Philippines’ internationally-recognized EEZ in the West Philippine Sea, and now acts as the owner of resources our country is entitled to as the exclusive beneficiary under the UNCLOS, as upheld in the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration,” she added.
Duterte has refused to take necessary action on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea despite the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal Philippines confirming its legal victory on the maritime problem.
The Senator from Bicol further tagged Duterte as China’s puppet who made the Malacañan Palace a headquarters of China’s fifth column in the Philippines.