Former lawmaker Walden Bello says Duterte is ‘whipped like a stray dog’ by China

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Filipino academic and former lawmaker Walden Bello criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for dropping his initial plan to visit Pag-asa Island and even raise the Philippine flag there on Independence Day on June 12.

“I may go to Pag-asa Island to raise the flag there,” Duterte told the media on the sidelines of his visit to the Philippine military’s Western Command (Wescom) headquarters on April 6.

The Wescom is responsible for patrolling the West Philippine Sea, which also covers the Pag-asa Island.

It is also during the same event when Duterte said that he ordered the military to “occupy all these so many islands” and to “put structures and the Philippine flag.”

However, President Duterte changed his tune a week after, on April 13, when he said that he would not push through with his planned visit to Pag-asa Island to maintain good relations with China.

During his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Duterte told Filipinos that China sent word to him asking him not to visit the Kalayaan group of islands in the Spratlys and put up the Philippine flag there. He added that China told him other claimant countries to the disputed island in the West Philippine Sea might follow suit.


Paraphrasing China’s message to him, Duterte said, “Please do not do that. What will happen if every head of state will go there and plant flags, there will be trouble.”

Duterte said that he valued the friendship with China and “would like to preserve the goodwill,” adding that the Philippines have exported more products to China.

The President, however, said that he would send his son there instead of raising the Philippine flag in the island “just to show there the blood there of the claimant.”

To this, Bello said that Duterte dropping his plan to visit Pag-asa Island will make him like a “stray dog” that China will keep “whipping.”

“Our macho president turned tail and went back on his promise to visit Pag-asa Island, one of our islands in the Spratlys, because he was scared of Xi Jin Ping’s reaction,” Bello wrote in a Facebook post on April 14.

Bello then said that unlike Duterte, he and three other lawmakers visited Pag-asa Island in 2011.

“In contrast, despite all of Beijing’s threats, I and three of my colleagues in Congress went to Pag-asa in July 2011 because that was the right thing to do: assert our country’s sovereignty over our islands in the Spratlys,” he wrote.

The number one rule to diplomacy according to Bello? Don’t be intimidated by bullies.

“You can’t afford to show you’re scared shitless, like Duterte did. China is going to keep whipping him like a stray dog from now on,” Bello said.

Sources: ( cnnphilippines.com )

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