By: Artchil B. Fernandez
PRESIDENT Du30’s true color is being revealed as the controversy on the sinking of F/B Gem-Vir 1 by a Chinese vessel at Recto (Reed) Bank drags on. If Filipinos felt insulted when Du30 dismissed the incident as a “little maritime accident” what he said this week infuriated the nation.
Rubbing salt on the wounded pride of country Du30 further downgraded the hit-and-run incident saying the Filipino fishing boat was merely sideswiped by the Chinese trawler. Acting more like a Chinese spokesperson than the leader of the Philippines he is exactly parroting the Chinese version of the incident. But this is not worst thing that Du30 uttered this week.
Filipinos were shocked and jolted when Du30 announced this week that he is willing to allow Chinese fishermen to fish in Philippine waters. China is a friend of Du30 and he wanted to “give a little something back” to the rouge and bully neighbor. This statement of Du30 is not only traitorous but has dangerous and treacherous implications to the Philippines.
Allowing the Chinese to fish in Philippine waters is culpable violation of the Constitution. Article XII, Section 2 (2) is clear. “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipinos citizens.”
The Constitution is unequivocal, Philippine waters is for the exclusive use of Filipinos. It never said friends of Filipinos can also enjoy the blessings of Philippine seas. Is Du30 struggling to understanding the meaning of “exclusive?” Du30 cannot just lamely use as alibi that he misread “exclusive” as “inclusive.” He is a lawyer and has taken the subject Constitutional law.
Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio slammed Du30’s devious and fake generosity. “The Philippine government cannot allow Chinese fishermen to fish in [the] Philippine exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea because it will violate the Constitution.”
Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea warned about the implication of Du30’s disloyal offer. “It throws open the floodgates to foreign fishing. Considering the Chinese’s destructive fishing methods, our fisheries and maritime resources will be completely exhausted in the next few years at the rate that they are doing their activities.”
Opening Philippine waters to Chinese fishermen is plain treason and Du30 has committed an impeachable offense. Du30’s complete control of the Lower House prevents his impeachment but it does not change the fact that Du30 has betrayed the country and the Filipino people. His stale justifications for his disloyalty only worsened his offense against the nation.
Salvador Panelo, Du30’s spokesperson sourly explained that since China loaned money to the Philippines, “we should give a little something back to them.” Filipinos must understand that these loans (with higher interest than what Japan offered) are to be paid. China will earn huge money from these loans. These loans benefit China and are burden to the Philippines which is likely to be hooked in Chinese debt-trap. What do Filipinos owe China? It is only Du30 and cahoots who wanted to borrow from China.
The administration mantra that China is a friend is a huge lie. China is not a friend of the Philippines. This rogue nation is a bad neighbor. It has stolen Philippine territory. Its naval forces harass Filipino fishermen and prevent them from fishing in Philippine territory. Lately, China’s naval militia hit a Filipino fishing boat and left the crew to the mercy of the sea, a cruel and barbaric act. These are not actions of a friend.
China is a rising imperial power and wanted to subjugate and exploit other nations. It is obsessed with global domination starting with the colonization of its neighbors. China had been bullying the Philippines, using its economic and military might to intimidate and threaten the country. A true friend does not do terrible things to a friend. Filipinos should not trust this thug neighbor.
But the tragedy of Filipinos is, the big, bad wolf China that is salivating over the rich natural resources of the Philippines is being aided in its evil design by the present administration with Du30 leading the sell-out. Du30’s willingness to allow Chinese fishermen to fish in Philippine waters is part of the step by step process of China’s colonization of the Philippines. This legitimizes China’s grabbing of Philippine territory.
It is becoming clear that Du30 is in the pocket of China. His strange behavior in the hit-and-run incident of Filipino fishing boat by Chinese vessel only cements the long-held perception that Du30 is a Chinese puppet.
If Du30 is not a puppet of China, why would he take the side of China instead of the Filipino fishermen? Why is Du30 making a painstaking effort to extricate China from the cowardly and criminal act?
If Du30 is not a Chinese puppet, why would he allow Chinese fishermen to fish in Philippine waters? Why is Du30 willing to violate the Constitution and his oath of office? Why is Du30 risking national ire and condemnation just to give China access to the natural resources of the country? Why is pleasing China more important to Du30 than defending the national interest of the Philippines?
The answer to these disturbing questions is alarming. Du30 is China’s Manchurian candidate.
What should we do? Shall we stand by and do nothing as the country is becoming a vassal of China? This is the biggest challenge facing us, Filipinos today.