President Rodrigo Duterte is spineless and is in China’s pockets as shown by his dismissal of the Chinese vessel ramming and sinking a Philippine fishing boat and subsequent abandoning of 22 Filipino crewman in Recto Bank as simple maritime accident, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said Tuesday.
The CPP was referring to the President's statements made during the Philippine Navy anniversary on Monday where he said: "You do not send grey ships there. Banggaan lang ng barko 'yan. Do not make it worse because that's a fertile ground. Dalawang bangka lang 'yan; and now you go there and create tension. Hindi ako gag* na Presidente na papayag."
“Duterte has displayed utter spinelessness before China. He has completely failed to act in line with Philippine sovereign interests in the face of widespread clamor to demand China's culpability over the reported June 9 incident at Recto Bank,” the CPP said.
“Duterte is spineless because he is in China’s pockets. Duterte fears losing the millions of dollars of bribe money and other favors he and his cohorts are receiving from the state monopoly capitalists of China in exchange for the onerous and odious loans,” the CPP added.
Likewise, CPP slammed Duterte for parroting the Chinese government's statement that it was a simple maritime accident, even if the incident happened while the Philippine fishing boat was anchored and almost its crewmen sleeping.
Recto Bank is under the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Duterte glosses over not only the fact that a Chinese trawler identified as Yuemaobinyu 42212 rammed and abandoned a sinking fishing boat and its 22 Filipino crew; but also the more prejudicial fact that a Chinese vessel was fishing in Philippine territorial waters,” the CPP said.
“The incident is evidence of the increasing arrogance of China in transgressing and plundering Philippine maritime territory. Such impunity is a consequence of the Duterte regime’s slavishness and complete failure to uphold Philippine sovereign rights and laws,” the CPP added.
The CPP also criticized the United States government over its comments that the Recto Bank incident may trigger the provision of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the US and that Washington has plans of deploying the USS Stratton, a US Coast Guard cutter, to help the Philippines and other countries who cannot defend their own exclusive economic zones.
“The US should be condemned for taking advantage of the Recto Bank incident to aggressively push its geopolitical aim of establishing its military presence in the Philippines and South China Sea. The US is acting like an imperial overlord in its drive to assert its hegemony amid China’s rising power,” the CPP said.
GMA News Online tried to get a reaction from presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo but he has yet to reply as of posting time. — Llanesca T. Panti/RSJ, GMA News