Alvarez: Only under Duterte did PH become ‘truly independent’

Bandera (Mindanao) - - NEWS -

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday claimed that it is only during the term of President Duterte that the Philippines became “a truly independent nation,” citing how the President “befriended” other countries like China.

Alvarez made the statement as the guest of honor in the celebration of the country’s 120th Independence Day in Tagum in his home province of Davao del Norte.

The House Speaker said that from July 4, 1946, when the Americans gave Filipinos independence up until the term of the previous administration, the Philippines was still controlled by America.

“Our politics was controlled by Americans, our economy was controlled by the Americans. Were we truly independent? No,” he said. “For a nation to be truly independent, Alvarez said it must not be under the control of any other country.”

But opposition lawmakers have been criticizing the Duterte administration’s apparent inaction in asserting the country’s sovereignty from China amid Beijing’s militarization in the West Philippine Sea.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano criticized how China, “an emerging world superpower, has been trampling on our sovereignty with their incursions in our territory in the West Philippine Sea.”

He said the government’s response has been “wanting, resorting to secret diplomacy which is characterized as inaction and silence to China’s transgressions.”

But the House leader pointed out that when Duterte came into power, “he became friends with everyone.”

“He befriended China, he befriended Russia, he befriended Korea, he befriended other nations in the world,” he noted.

Alvarez further claimed that many of the criticisms against the foreign policy of Duterte were “coming from Americans and their allies who are not comfortable with the fact that US has lost its grip on the Philippines.”

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