MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong international relations helped keep the Philippines afloat during the pandemic, the top official of a think tank group said.
George Siy, head of the Integrated Development Studies Institute (IDSI), said the contributions of nations engaged by Duterte before the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic are benefitting the country.
Siy, in a video briefer recently posted on IDSI’s social media accounts, said China has been constantly demonized despite the urgent help it extended to the Philippines.
“Until lately, China was the only one sending vaccines to the Philippines, whereas the Western ones were only being promised, recently talking about third quarter delayed deliveries,” he added.
Sinovac is working with over 70 countries and its vaccines have been administered to over 80 million people, mostly in developing nations.
“While criticizing others, the United States did not send any vaccine help, although after millions of doses from China, it was talking about deliveries months later. It has since delivered AstraZeneca vaccines to Canada and Mexico without approval from the US Food and Drug Administration,” Siy said.
He urged critics of China in the Philippines to be wary of their words as now, more than ever, the country gets support from other nations to compete with the donations and generous deals provided by China.
He also cited the 2017 siege in Marawi and how China and Russia are helping in the rehabilitation efforts.
“Ironically, US plotted the entry of arms that almost cost us to lose to the ISIS. We almost became a revolutionary country. That ended in five months though we still have to undergo rehabilitation through the help of China and Russia,” he said.
After China and Russia provided the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the necessary equipment, the US followed suit.
“So, if we just help each other. We can get past these and whatever bad circumstances that come our way,” he said.
In earlier reports, Malacañang described Duterte’s independent foreign policy as anchored on a national security policy that balances the welfare and well-being of the Filipino people, at home and abroad.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., during his welcome remarks at the Global Conference of Heads of Posts held October 11, 2019 at the New World Hotel in Makati City, said the country’s foreign policy is based on “friend to friends, enemy to enemies, worse enemy to false friends.”
“This is a significant improvement in the direction of realism on the earlier friends to all, enemies to none,” he said then. (PNA)
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