“It is in our belief, however, that China, like any other country, will be eventually appreciated by the Filipinos by reason of the President’s independent foreign policy which has resulted in significant benefits favorable to the Philippines,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement after SWS survey showed that China remains to be the least trusted country among Filipinos with a net trust rating of -33.
Panelo said that Office of the President is not surprised, as it does not feel affronted, with the results of the survey released yesterday.
“The results of the survey conducted from September 27 to 30 are foreseeable and understandable given the conflicting positions of China and our country relative to the West Philippine Sea,” he added.
Panelo explained that “despite the territorial dispute not being the sum total of our relationship with China, the Office of the President will neither court nor force any citizen to change his or her sentiments toward our giant neighbor in the North. We will respect their conviction the way we value their allegiance to the Republic and its elements.”
“Verily, China could even become a role model of the Philippines in reducing, if not totally eradicating, poverty,” he said.