Selective outrage? How Duterte reacted to other foreign affronts to Filipinos

Features Philippines Jun 28, 2019 at 2:33 pm

By Pia Ranada

MANILA–President Rodrigo Duterte’s very cautious response to the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese ship struck many as uncharacteristic given his image as a no-holds-barred, tough-talking defender of the ordinary Filipino.

Not only did he echo China’s dismissal of the ramming as just a “maritime incident,” he had no words of comfort for the Filipino fishermen who almost lost their lives. Nor did he let loose any categorical condemnation of the abandonment of fishermen. This, despite his own defense secretary, foreign secretary, and spokesman earlier condemning the abandonment.

But what makes Duterte’s initial reaction even more peculiar is how it contrasts so sharply with other incidents when an act of a foreign entity caused harm to Filipinos, or when Duterte himself perceived such harm to Philippine sovereignty.

In these incidents, Duterte made colorful threats and followed through with executive action meant to tip the scales of justice in favor of Filipinos.

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