The Opposition can’t disabuse themselves of the notion that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a Chinese puppet. PhilSTAR columnist Boo Chanco, for example, is fixated on the concept as is evident in yet another one of his pieces, today’s “Is China losing Duterte” where he suggests that “China will likely finance a candidate next year. The Manchurian Candidate will likely be someone endorsed by Duterte.”
This reminds me of the columns that Kit Tatad wrote during the first year of the administration. Most were a disconnect between Tatad’s intellectual capabilities against the quality of the theories he was positing. Is there going to be a China candidate in next year’s polls? This sounds to me like a ripoff from the Democrats notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a hand in former US President Donald Trump’s election. The similarities end there. Both Trump and Duterte weren’t expected to win but they did. The Opposition is engaged in gaslighting. There I said it.
The illusions about pandemic response, the South China Sea disputes, and the corruption are all designed to manipulate voters into believing that whoever the administration candidate is will do more of the same. As correctly pointed out by former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE), the President should pay no heed to these accusations. There is much that gets lost in the wash and time is wasted. Think of it this way, the Japanese committed atrocities against Filipinos during the war. Why is no one fanning anti-Japanese sentiment? China has never invaded the country. Why is the Opposition encouraging Filipinos to hate China? The world’s second oldest Chinatown is located in Manila. That’s how far back our relationship goes. Conversely why not talk of a US candidate? Then US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg clearly conveyed that the US wasn’t inclined to a Duterte Presidency. Should we accept the dictates of the Americans as a former colony?
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What has become evident now is the Panglinan and Lopez groups will not allow another Duterte or a proxy, or another Marcos to become President. The issues the opposition have brought forth against Duterte are all their patron’s issues. A case in point is the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). This was paid for by Filipinos but hasn’t been commissioned. It stands as a silent monument to the foibles of the Opposition. In his book, The Politics of Business: How the Government Tried My Case Without Me, the late industrialist Herminio T. Disini wrote…
The decision to mothball the BNPP had severe consequences for the Philippine economy, particularly its power generation sector, which experienced severe shortages in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, result ing in crippling brownouts all over the archipelago. In Luzon, there were 8-, 12- and even 16-hour rotating brownouts for months on end. Despite the decision to close the plant, the Philippine government continued to make huge payments on it-a debt burden that would total about P120 billion when the last install ment was paid in 2007-without gaining a single kilo watt of electricity from the mothballed plant
The government could have repudiated the debt if it truly knew and could prove that the transaction was corrupt. Tellingly, it did not because it knew that if it did that, its creditors would make kindling of it in the courts. In the meanwhile, well-placed entrepreneurs close to the Aquino and the succeeding Fidel Ramos ad ministrations made a killing selling generators and set ting up shop as independent power producers or IPPS.
The Philippine government went on to sue West inghouse in New Jersey on charges of bribery while Westinghouse sued in the Swiss civil arbitration court. In both cases, the Philippine government lost; no bribery was established. Those decisions parenthetically cleared me. In the meantime, I, who had been accused of passing on untold millions to President Marcos from my commission in the Westinghouse deal, was cleared by an audit performed by Coopers & Lybrand, one of the five largest international accounting firms of impeccable integrity and expertise.
Former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco has argued himself hoarse about how nuclear is the cheapest and cleanest form of energy to no avail. The option to rehabilitate it was on the table in 2017 but the Senators thumbed it down. This had more to do with the availability of campaign funds than the benefit it will bring to Filipinos who are now subject to the second highest power rates in the region.
This is why all this talk of a China candidate is crap. If this were really the case then former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro should’ve won in 2010 because he was then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s anointed. Instead we got stuck with Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III. There is more basis to believe that the the US would want a friendlier President to be able to use rhe country like a loaded gun pointed at China’s head. To my mind, this is what we should be wary of.
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