Dispatch from Crame No. 897: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on Sec. Locsin’s Stance vis-à-vis the issue on the PH Contracts with Chinese Companies in relation to WPS Issue


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At first glance, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin’s recommendation for the Duterte administration to review and cancel government contracts with Chinese companies involved in constructing islands in the Spratlys seems to be a breath of fresh air.

Indeed, PH must follow the lead of US, and forthwith reject these contracts. These Chinese companies are complicit in the Chinese government’s open defiance of the 2016 PH-China Arbitral ruling on the South China Sea and blatant violation of the UNCLOS, as well as China’s unlawful intrusions into, or theft of PH territory. They are also stealing employment from our local workers because unlike other foreign contractors, these Chinese companies normally utilize Chinese labor.

But, such laudable stance on the part of Foreign Affairs Secretary was not to last even for a minute because in the same breath, he again rejected former DFA Secretary Del Rosario’s proposal to bring the enforcement of the Arbitral ruling to the UN General Assembly, saying we will only lose to China.

Like his boss Duterte, Locsin might project a fighting form in the outside. But deep inside, he is still just a loser, also like his boss Duterte. This seems to be the common vein that runs through many of Duterte’s men, one that carries the blood of defeatism and cowardice in projecting the government’s foreign, defense, and national security policies.

Beyond the tough talk, Locsin’s statement is nothing more than a reiteration of Duterte’s oft-repeated statement, a broken record in fact, that we cannot do anything about China’s invasion of the Spratlys and our EEZ in the WPS because we will just lose a war with China.

Of course, nobody is asking Duterte to go to war with China. All we are asking him is to have some balls in defending our people, territory, and national interest against Chinese incursions and domination. But of course he won’t do that. The fictitious war with China is just Duterte’s bogeyman to cover up his own subservience to China as the Asian power’s puppet in Southeast Asia.

Even with the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, and the whole of Southeast Asia (except probably Laos and Cambodia) behind the Philippines in our victory in the UNCLOS arbitral ruling against China, Locsin chooses to stay ahead of the game by surrendering even before the battle begins. For a diplomat, that can only be an indication of a work ethic that does not inspire struggles towards victory. So what are we paying him for? To cry for the President in front of OFWs?

Locsin is not fooling us in appearing to project a tough stance on China to match the US’s blacklisting of Chinese companies responsible for the Spratlys reclamation projects. In his final word on the matter, it’s all wind and no balls. ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 897, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._897)

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