Press Release
June 19, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 537:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on the Nature of Duterte's Treason

Ten days have passed since the ramming of the Gem-Vir 1 by the Chinese boat Yuemaobinyu 42212 in Philippine waters near Palawan. After the initial condemnation expressed by DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana - eventually withdrawn - all that we have heard from the Duterte Administration is an orchestrated response in defense of China. Duterte himself only broke his silence eight days after the incident, calling it a small maritime incident, and thereafter ordering the Philippine Navy - ironically during the celebration of their 121st anniversary - not to sail out at the risk of a nuclear attack from China.

Never has such treasonous defense of a foreign aggressor been committed by Philippine officials since the Laurel Japanese puppet government in World War II. But at least in the case of the Laurel puppet government, the foreign aggressor was already an occupying force pointing a gun at the Filipino officials. In their shameless defense of China, Duterte and his officials once again acted like a Chinese puppet government, at their own volition and without being forced by China. Unlike the Laurel puppet government, their treason is voluntary.

Duterte's fake fear of nuclear annihilation by China is his excuse for this treason. He knows, as every world leader knows, that no nuclear power in the world today will risk its own destruction by nuking willy-nilly any country that chooses to stand against its illegal maritime claims. Otherwise, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan would have been nuclear wastelands a long time ago. But they are not. Instead, what China has for them is a grudging respect, and a lingering fear of their determination to defend what is rightfully theirs against China's incursions.

We used to have that - the determination to defend what is rightfully ours. Nuke or no nuke, our history is a history of resistance against not one, but three foreign powers who invaded our shores. This is why we have our heroes, and also our share of traitors who chose the side of the enemy, although now all we have are the latter.

In the past several days, Duterte has whined without end about the hopelessness of the Philippines as a nation. His treason is the logical conclusion of this frustration. Duterte is no longer invested in the Philippines, but in China. He has not sold out to China as much as he bought himself in. The Philippine national interest, as we know it, is now against his own personal interest and fortune. More than a traitor, Duterte is just a glorified carpetbagger, with loyalties to no one but himself.

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