Detained Senator Leila de Lima said that President Rodrigo Duterte is wrong to think that in dealing with the West Philippine Sea dispute the Philippines will either go to war or bow down to China.
The senator also said that “it is not true that everybody else simply waited until he took over as President before doing something about the Chinese. The simple fact is, it is only now that the Philippines has a President who has chosen to be China’s puppet and lapdog.”
“It is not as if we chose him to be the one to lead us against China’s occupation of the WPS,” she added. “The 16 million he fooled with his jet-ski promise left us with no choice on that.”
De Lima said that Duterte with his unsophisticated and myopic small-town mayor worldview thinks that either the Philippines bows down to China or goes to war with it. “To him, the choices are between surrender and violent confrontation,” she said.
“Such are the limitations of a provincial warlord mentality that Duterte has brought to the presidency. His brain simply does not have the capacity to deal with complex international issues,” she added.
“This has been our problem from the very beginning. Duterte had no experience in national politics before he became President, and much less in international diplomacy. His exposure to regional and world affairs before he became President was basically zero,” de Lima said.