Former foreign affairs secretary Alberto del Rosario bared that top Chinese diplomats had been bragging to members of the international community that they had a hand in shaping events that led to the victory of former Davao mayor and now Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
In a forum sponsored by Stratbase, a Philippine-based think tank, del Rosario knew of this through a February 2019 conversation with several other diplomats. The former highest diplomat of the land says that he isn’t surprised because of the overt acts displayed by Duterte during his five year stint as president of the country.
In several occasions, Duterte expressed his undying love with Chinese president Xi Jinping and even verbally committed to the Chinese head his approval for Chinese fishermen to exploit the fishery resources of the Philippines at the West Philippine Sea.
Duterte’s said in several occasions how value-less the arbitral ruling the Philippines got from the tribunal of the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS against China. During the time of former president Benigno S. Aquino III, the Philippines lodged a formal complaint against illegal Chinese intrusions into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. China responded with a counter filing stating that it has historical claim over the Spratlys.
The UNCLOS trashed China’s claims and gave the Philippines its first ever victory over these claimed islands since its discovery in the fifties by deceased Philippine captain Coloma.
In 2018, Duterte says China is protecting him from possible ouster from power emanating from the Philippine military. Duterte is also known for ordering the Philippine Navy to just limit its patrol to just those areas within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) over the West Philippine Sea. The order effectively stopped Philippine military surveillance operations against Chinese illegal intrusions over Philippine sea space.
Political pundits seemed not impressed with del Rosario’s claims against Duterte. ” The President admitted that he has Chinese blood, because his grandfather is a Chinese immigrant who went here to try his luck. So, why expect Mr. Duterte to pursue Filipino interests when Duterte is really a Chinese mestizo.”