- Ex-president supporting Duterte’s independent foreign policy
- He asked whether PH plans to beg aid from foreign countries forever
- He said Filipinos can make the country great through hard work and cooperation
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has found an ally in Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who said he supports the latter’s pursuance of an independent foreign policy.
According to Estrada, the Philippines can afford to let go of the foreign assistance being given to it by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union since it has always been independent.
“Matagal na tayong independent, lahat sila nakikiaalam. Ngayon kung hihingi tayo ng tulong sa kanila, ‘yun. Mga bobo ba mga Filipino [We have been an independent country for a long time now, all of them are meddling (in our affairs]. They can do such if we would ask help from them. Are Filipinos dumb]? he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The former president cited Vietnam as an example of how cooperation and perseverance can work wonders for a country despite receiving limited aid.
“Kaya naman natin kung talagang magsisikap tayo, eh. Magpapalimos na lang ba tayo habambuhay [We could stand on our own feet if we would persevere. Are we going to beg forever]?” he asked. “Tulung-tulong lang tayong malagay sa ayos ang ating bansa. Wala kasi tayong malasakit sa ating bansa [Let us cooperate in uplifting our country. We lack compassion for our country].”
Duterte has been drawing flak from critics over his threat to cut ties with the US over its criticism of his campaign against drugs and said he would not hesitate to seek new ties with Russia and China despite the latter’s reclamation projects in the West Philippine Sea.