Duterte selling out sovereignty for Chinese funding – IBON

Features Philippines Jun 28, 2019 at 2:30 pm
By IBON Media

Research group IBON said that the Duterte administration’s downplaying of the hit-and-run by a Chinese vessel of a Philippine fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) shows how it gives more importance to Chinese funding over Philippine sovereignty.

On June 9, a Chinese vessel rammed and sank the Filipino fishing boat F/B Gem-Ver and left the 22 fishermen on board adrift at sea. President Rodrigo Duterte’s first comment on the issue over a week after it happened, on June 17, was to dismiss it as a simple “maritime incident” being played up by “stupid politicians.”  The president echoed the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement a few days earlier calling the boat sinking “an ordinary maritime traffic accident” and warning against “irresponsibly politicizing” the collision.

IBON explained that the Duterte administration’s position is most likely influenced by how it is courting billions in dollars in aid, debt and investments from China. The government is reportedly seeking as much as US$14.3 billion in official development assistance (ODA) from China to finance 29 ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure projects costing US$16.8 billio