Duterte refuses to condemn Chinese incursions for own interests

NDF-Ilocos: A friend for greed, a friend indeed

Duterte refuses to condemn Chinese incursions for own interests

Rodrigo Duterte blabbers about the West Philippine Sea (WPS) like the issue of Philippine territory and sovereignty is a personal one. Last Wednesday’s presidential drivel actually betrayed not just his ambivalence but also his lack of concern for the fisher folk whose livelihood and lives are put at risk because of his subservience to China. Vague statements of ‘Atin talaga yan,’ ‘Mayroon tayong utang na loob (sa China),’ ‘I have the interest of my country to protect,’ and ‘Tignan natin,’ did nothing to shine any light on what he actually intends to do. At the end of it all, he makes excuses for China and calls it ‘a good friend.’

But the National Democratic Front – Ilocos (NDF-Ilocos), along with the fishing communities within the region, begs to differ. The imperialist Chinese government cannot be considered a friend for it threatens to harm Filipinos that venture to fish within their own territorial waters. It is not a friend of the Filipino nation as long as it continues to occupy and exploit Philippine marine territories despite logical boundaries and international rulings. It could never be a friend if it takes advantage of the country’s maladaptive political economy by extending onerous debts to its corrupt officials. The NDF-Ilocos condemns the Duterte regime for insisting that imperialist China is a friend in order to advance its own profit and position but to the detriment of the Filipino people.

Friendship Test

This relationship, however, is on the rocks. His docility towards China cannot go unchallenged. The United States (US) itself will not allow the Duterte regime to fully align itself with China as the latter pursues regional and global dominance. With US military aid amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually, the ties between the US Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) cannot be dismissed so easily.

It is reasonable to expect that Duterte’s inaction will cause discontent among individual AFP officers, both retired and active. That is, if such has not happened already. Even the Duterte regime must be expecting such a scenario. Just last week, the AFP was hard-pressed to issue a quick denial when news of alleged withdrawal of support surfaced. Thereafter, by end-April, the National Task Force for the WPS finally beefed up maritime patrols in areas where Chinese vessels are already positioned since early March. Duterte’s tottering regime cannot risk the ire of its military troops but still would not risk losing China’s favor. The cliff-hanger promise of ‘Tignan natin…’ is enough evidence of that.

Dodging Criticism

Such ambiguity sounds even more lukewarm and inadequate after Duterte shamelessly attempted to deflect criticism. He had the temerity to use the regime of Noynoy Aquino as scapegoat just so he could distance himself from any blame. While the previous administration did face the same issues of territory and sovereignty inadequately, any self-respecting present regime would address a current problem by taking concrete action and not by shifting blame to a regime that ended almost six years ago.

Yet, deflecting criticism is a staple tactic for the Duterte regime. His administration even used the same maneuver to downplay the recent spike in Covid-19 cases. When the Philippines reached a million cases, Duterte lackeys insensitively cited India as having a far more difficult bout with Covid-19 than the Philippines. Also, it was revealed that Duterte himself instructed government news agencies to report that the country is ‘faring better than other countries in addressing the pandemic.’ Instead of focusing its energies on correctly addressing the medical crisis and its ensuing economic burdens, the Duterte regime chooses to delude itself and to attempt to deceive the Filipino people and the world in the process.


Duterte is obviously caught between the proverbial rock and hard place; or as the elders would say, ‘Naipit sa nag-uumpugang bato.’ But then again, this is to be expected when one puppet regime decides to spread itself thin. Duterte’s own bloated ego is his downfall for the only thing worse than being the lapdog of an imperialist country is being the lapdog of two rival imperialist countries.

Meanwhile, legal and underground movements continuously and steadily march forward in step with the advance of the armed revolution. Unlike Duterte, who is yet to issue anything closely resembling a condemnation, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines strongly renounces China’s incursions and US’ self-serving intervention. It calls on all patriotic elements to assert the establishment of a coalition of nations that will unitedly stand up against China’s bullying and aggression, without the intrusion of other imperialist countries that only seek to use the issue for their own gain.

The issue of territory and sovereignty has the potential to turn a greater number of the middle-class against the useless Duterte. They will join the ranks of peasants, workers and intellectuals and will then call for his ouster. The madman will have no other option but to abandon his spot between boulders or be crushed by the force of the Filipino people.

Assert Philippine territory and sovereignty!

End the treachery and ineptitude! Oust Duterte now!

Strengthen ranks and advance the People’s Revolution!

Duterte refuses to condemn Chinese incursions for own interests