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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

A lot of speculations have cropped up regarding China’s seemingly all-powerful and incomprehensible influence over our country, on our territories, and even over President Duterte himself.

It is an undeniable fact that the independence of our country was achieved through the sacrifice of innumerable lives of our countrymen during the last world war.

In spite of our victory over the peaceful arbitration hearing in 2016, China seemed undaunted and has successfully created artificial islands, airstrips over our waters and armed them with planes and bombers as if preparing for war.

To make things worse, even our President has been constantly discouraging our people from making any action that could agitate China.

Many of our people are bewildered and suspect that China may allegedly have something on Duterte. Undeniably, the President has repeatedly defended China and his Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has shown uncertainty in issuing any kind of protest over the militarization of artificial islands constructed within our territory. A lot of people want to know if this cannot be considered betrayal of public trust and the President’s constitutional mandate?

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Many questions have formed in the minds of people due to the President’s soft stance towards China, which many find ludicrous but cannot be ignored. Among them are:

What if the reports were true that a private Chinese plane was indeed parked in Davao during the presidential election campaign? Could this have any bearing on Chinese interests that have been apparently influencing Filipino policies in Marawi and Boracay? There were rumors of a flood of Chinese immigrants passing through Clark International Airport.

What if China contributed heavily to Duterte’s campaign kitty by cash or through social media management?

What if China holds some private information on the President and is blackmailing him?

What if China assured Duterte or his successor of a permanent presidency or leadership?

And finally, Duterte admitted in a report that President Xi Jin-Ping assured him that he would not be ousted from the presidency. Does this have anything to do with the President’s continued defense of China?

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