So far I’ve been seeing a lot of videos and memes depicting former President Aquino as someone who also fell through China’s debt trap. Which is absolutely wrong. Although, Aquino inked some Chinese infra deals with China that doesn’t include dangerous agreement which cedes our patrimonial assets should we resort to default and agreed to import Chinese workers to compete with Filipinos who are already suffering from unemployment.
The major difference between Duterte and PNOY’s Chinese loans?
Perhaps of the key things that are different from Duterte and PNOY’s Chinese loans is the fact that Duterte always preferred to Chinese contractors in almost every type of infrastructure works in the country. From military projects, repairs to major civil infrastructures such as dams, reclamation, and dredging, etc. In PNOY’s time, we only receive funds from Chinese banks and the contractor was also Chinese but the workers who worked on these projects aren’t from China — most workers were hired domestically to work on these projects.
And one of the most important difference is that though PNOY took Chinese loans and investment deals in the country. But he never did it at the cost of his people’s interest. He never signed a disadvantageous deal with the Chinese that would put our territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea in jeopardy or even surrender our critical patrimonial assets as collateral to China.
In contrast, Duterte shamelessly signed these deals and allowed Chinese contractors to bring in massive numbers of Chinese workers in the country to work on those projects. Many Filipino workers and contractors will surely be missing the action and these activities won’t benefit the masses and will surely not benefit the economy at all.
Aquino is the only president of all South China Sea claimants who brought China to court and won
One of the most important things that Aquino did in defense of the WPS is to acquire state-of-the-art navy assets to counter China’s coast guard. He also rallied support from the International community to China’s illegal encroachment of Philippine territory to pressure China and slow down its reclamation in our shoals.
Albeit, when diplomatic pressures no longer worked. Aquino decided to file a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in it’s bid to debunk China’s nine-dashed-line and historical rights over these seas. He had the best men in his legal arsenal including the now senatorial aspirant Florin Hilbay.
Though China cowed in fear and declined to join the proceedings. Still, the court case pushes through and the Philippines debunked every piece of historical evidence that China presented to push its claim of the entire South China Sea.
Everyone’s waiting for the results of the legal proceedings but it came too late and President Aquino had already given the helm to now President Duterte after his decisive win in 2016 presidential elections.
But what did Duterte do? — nothing
Duterte instead of using the recent PCA ruling to re-assert sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea he opted to do nothing. And worst? He suddenly switched sides and defend the enemy. Just a few months after the PCA ruling. Duterte visited China and met President Xi Jin Ping himself.
So now Duterte’s loan deals with China clearly is very disadvantageous to the Philippines and Duterte is okay with it. He didn’t care if we lose our patrimonial assets? Those loans he took — we couldn’t really pay for them? There’s too many and too expensive! But who cares right? He’s getting paid? His agents are getting paid? His friends and allies in the Congress will get the bulk of the budget? Who cares? Only the Filipinos will suffer in paying for it — and I kid you not. We will lose our patrimonial assets to China and the Philippines will surely suffer even more..
But there’s still hope. We can still reverse our misfortune. So a good voter knows just what to do. Vote for these people. They can fix our country — patch it up and re-assert our control over WPS before it’s too late.