Rodrigo Duterte seems all too happy to sell Philippine territory to the highest bidder.
The News Lens
By: Michael Beltran
It could not have gone better for Chinese head of state Xi Jinping during his recent two-day visit to the Philippines.
Months ahead of the meeting, President Rodrigo Duterte had already declared that he “simply loves Xi Jinping.” It represents a pretty 180 degree turn from his campaign promise of taking the country’s flag and taking a jet ski to China to proclaim Philippine independence.
Many Filipinos, on the other hand, did not appreciate Xi coming to town. There were protests, unbearable traffic jams due to unannounced road closures, airport delays and a slew of memes making use of Xi’s Winnie the Pooh moniker as an insult. Duterte, unsurprisingly, was portrayed as the hapless and dependent piglet.
Credit: Reuters / Eloisa LopezStudent rallyists wear masks in the likeness of Rodrigo Duterte and Xi Jinping during a rally against China outside the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila during Xi’s recent state visit to the Philippines.
The two leaders ironed out 29 deals mainly purporting to enhance economic ties. The nail in the coffin, though, seemed to be the Joint Exploration Deal, which outlines what could be a future resource grab in the West Philippine Sea, the contested territories. This came despite the Philippines having won in the International Court of Arbitration two years ago, as the area was historically part of the Southeast Asian nation’s fishing activity. [FULL STORY]