NEW YORK — “On the matter of apology si Ambassador Zhao ang nagsabi about they are sorry for what happened we will conduct an investigation.”
That’s Philippine national security adviser, secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. in New York, after attending a counterterrorism conference at the United Nations.
Esperon claims that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua, has apologized — after the Philippines showed evidence that members of Chinese coast guard took P4,000 worth of catch from Filipino fishermen around Scarborough Shoal in June.
While Esperon says that the territorial dispute in the west Philippine sea is a big national security concern, the Philippines has other priorities.
“We will do as much as we can in the west Philippines sea, But my priority will be the resolution of the MILF, MNLF problem, the resolution of the CPP-NPA problem and drugs, criminality.”
Esperon says, defeating these insurgents would only mean one thing — more defense funds to be used for west Philippine defense.
Esperon says, today there are less than 4000 members of armed NPA insurgents left in Mindanao.
While communist organizations have been legal in the Philippines, Esperon says there is a pending petition in a Philippine court seeking to declare the CPP-NPA, a terrorist organization.
A Forbes opinion piece has warned that the Philippines might fall into a “debt bondage” with China.
The Philippines added $167 billion dollars to its current debt of $123 billion dollars – to finance President Duterte’s build-build-build program.
Critics believe this could skyrocket to over a trillion dollars in 10 years, give China’s prevailing high-interest rates.
When it’s time to pay this trillion dollar debt – the biggest question is, whose pockets will it come from?