After President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement, #DuterteTraydor trended on Twitter; celebrities, personalities, and even netizens showed how disgusted they are with what he said during his public address on Wednesday, April 28. His description of China as a “good friend” drew criticism.
According to him, the country is indebted to the Chinese government for extending aid to the Filipino people.
This remark came from the Philippine President after he addressed the growing tension in the West Philippine Sea, with Chinese vessels still infringing the Julian Felipe Reef near Palawan.
“I’m stating it for the record, we do not want war with China. China is a good friend. Mayroon tayong utang na loob na marami pati ‘yong bakuna natin. So China, let it be known, is a good friend, and we do not want trouble with them, especially a war,” he said during his speech.
“Kalaki ng utang na loob natin sa China. Tingnan niyo bakuna, libre. There are so many things—‘yong mga tulong nila. Pero sabihin ko na there are some things in life which cannot be bargainable and this is one of them,” Duterte added.
LOOK: #DuterteTraydor trends no. 1 on Twitter Philippines after the president said on Wednesday night that China is a “good friend” and that PH owes it a lot.
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) April 29, 2021
Journalist Jove Francisco is confused as to how the Philippines owes China as claimed by Duterte.
Utang na loob? pic.twitter.com/c0s1SP62i2
— Jove Francisco (@jovefrancisco) April 29, 2021
Former Makabayan Congressman Teddy Casiño also got puzzled on how Duterte could call China a “friend” while the Chinese are stealing Philippine territories.
Inaagaw na ang dagat natin, "good friend" pa rin? #DuterteTraydor
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) April 29, 2021
ABS-CBN StarPop Label Head Roque Rox Santos threw some shade (obviously at Harry Roque) for considering Duterte as the “modern-day Lapu-Lapu” while using the hashtags #DuterteTraydor and #DutertePalpak.
— Roque Rox Santos (@roxsantos) April 29, 2021
Kapamilya actress Agot Isidro and musician Jim Paredes were overwhelmed with disgust. They even called Duterte a “lapdog”, “traitor”, and a “coward.”
Isa syang tuta.
(Pasintabi sa mga cute puppies)
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) April 28, 2021
Traitor coward to the core. #OUSTDUTERTENOW
— Jim (@Jimparedes) April 29, 2021
Using the hashtags #DuterteTraydor and #DuterteResign, singer Leah Navarro disagreed with Duterte as she tweeted that the Philippines do not owe China since it has invaded the country with impunity.
We don’t owe China thanks, period. It has invaded our territory with impunity and Duterte’s approval.
— Leah Navarro (@leahnavarro) April 28, 2021
In another tweet, Navarro lambasted Duterte for not knowing the difference between a friend from an exploiter.
The singer stressed that China exploited the Philippines after it gave vaccines and attacked its sovereignty with, of course, Duterte’s approval.
Duterte can’t tell the difference between a friend and an exploiter. China is a user who gives free vaccines but runs roughshod over our sovereignty with Duterte’s approval. Again, #DuterteTraydor #DuterteResign https://t.co/iGl7vEI7Z6
— Leah Navarro (@leahnavarro) April 28, 2021
Radio personality Czarina Marie “DJ Chacha” Balba-Guevara and former TV host Jules Guiang both stressed that it is the President who has the “utang na loob” to China, not the Philippines nor its citizens.
Malaki raw utang na loob natin sa China? Hala, binayaran ko naman mga lazada at shopee orders ko galing China! Di’ naman po libre yon! Char! Baka ikaw lang may utang na loob, ako WALA.
— DJ Chacha (@_djchacha) April 28, 2021
Linawin siguro natin na walang utang na loob ang mga Pilipino sa China, si Duterte pa siguro ang meron, pero tayo wala.
— Jules Guiang (@julesguiang) April 29, 2021
Executive Director of iLead Philippines, Zy-za Nadine Suzara used Indonesia as an example of how the country can defend its territory against China.
According to Suzara, despite Indonesia sinking some Chinese vessels, China did not declare war against Indonesia much more blocked its access to Sinovac jabs as Duterte feared would happen to the Philippines.
Indonesia openly confronts Chinese vessels encroaching in their national waters. Sometimes they sink them too.
But China hasn’t declared war against Indonesia. China didn’t block Indonesia’s access to Sinovac jabs.
In fact, they’re one of the biggest importers of Sinovac https://t.co/GP8uhyB1mC
— Budget Babe (@znsuzara) April 28, 2021
Duterte at his public speech on Wednesday, also berated retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and ex-Foreign Affairs chief Albert Del Rosario, after he blamed the previous Aquino administration for ‘backing out’ of the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) off the coast of Zambales province in 2012.
“Alam mo, isang tanong lang ako kay Carpio pati kay Albert. Kung bright kayo, bakit nawala ang West Philippine Sea sa atin? Panahon ninyo ‘yon eh. Panahon ninyo na talagang nandiyan kayo sa puwesto,” said Duterte to Carpio.
“Ngayon ng — ngayon na ang China nandoon — ang China na ang naghahawak doon, ako na ‘yong — ako na ‘yong niluluslos ninyo na maggawa ng paraan,” he added.
Carpio, in response, reiterated that the Philippines won via the UNCLOS tribunal in 2016 after the Aquino administration, who Duterte was blaming, filed an arbitration case against China last 2013.
However, after Duterte assumed position, the President declared that he will “set aside” the arbitral Award so that the Philippines may seek loans and investments from China which amounted to $22 billion.
Moreover, Carpio stressed that the Philippines’ diplomatic protest over the presence of Chinese vessels in Philippine waters because Duterte made a verbal fishing agreement with China.
Furthermore, to emphasize that Duterte is at fault with China’s continuous seizing of Philippine territories, Carpio pointed out that the President was silent after China seized Sandy Cay from the Philippines.
LOOK: Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio responds to President Rodrigo Duterte's recent statement on the West Philippine Sea.
— Tristan Nodalo (@TristanNodalo) April 29, 2021
According to the retired Associate Justice, The loss of Sandy Cay from the Philippines resulted in the loss of one-third of the country’s territorial sea in Pagasa, where the island was two nautical miles away. With the loss of a maritime area that is three times the size of Quezon City, Carpio irked at Duterte for declaring that he “simply love President Xi Jinping.”
Rosario noted that the Philippines standing up against China would not lead to a war between the two countries. He assured that China is not going to wage war against the Philippines because of its possible impact.