Press Release
February 18, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 720:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's on Malacañang's fallacious justification for the VFA's abrogation


Panelo wants us to believe that the abrogation of the VFA was a matter of principle, that Duterte thinks it's about time that we stand on our own and be self-reliant in our national defense and security.

This is a lot of bullshit. Duterte's move is dictated by his desire to ingratiate himself with China. He delivered the decapitated head of the US-PH VFA to China on a silver platter as part of his strategic vision of the Philippines' pivot to China which, Duterte behooves, is now the dominant global superpower in the region.

Well, Duterte's global superpower cannot even defend itself nowadays against the COVID-19 crisis, its citizens international pariahs shunned from virtually every port and airport in the world, its industries and manufacturing at a standstill, and its party leadership running around like a headless chicken after mishandling the response to its largest epidemic in recent memory.

Duterte does not care about Philippine self-reliance or national security and sovereignty. He has all but surrendered the West Philippine Sea to China's incursions and island-building. It is doubtful if he is really concerned about the impending Chinese plan to island-build on Scarborough Shoal as soon as it gets over the COVID-19 crisis, the Americans and the VFA being the last line of defense against such Chinese plan. Duterte's vision is to transform the Philippines into a Chinese province and outpost along the first island chain towards the Pacific.

Duterte hardly--nay--never acts on the basis of principles. He probably does not even understand the concept, but, like a true sociopath, merely mimics the behavior of someone having them. His unilateral abrogation of the VFA is all about his self-interest and grand vision to transform this country into China's substitute for Taiwan, which it continues to fail to occupy because of its strong national defense and alliance with the United States.

Bato thus flatters himself too much as supposedly being the cause for the VFA's abrogation. Bato's US Visa cancellation, and the US Senate's actions versus my persecution, were just the excuse. Duterte had always planned to cut ties with the US all along, the last step towards making the Philippines a full-fledged Chinese province or satellite. This will be further affirmed in the next few days when he gives in to Beijing's demand to end the PH travel ban on China, and once again expose our own countrymen to a COVID-19 epidemic for which we are sorely unprepared.

Ganyan kamahal ni Duterte ang China. Hahamakin na ang mga ka-alyado ng Pilipinas at isasakripisyo ang sariling mga kababayan sa nakamamatay na virus, masunod lamang ang utos ng kanyang mga amo sa Beijing.

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 720, here:

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