Marawi and China
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - April 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc, who hails from Marawi, criticized President Duterte's recent statement that Marawi City's rehabilitation should be shouldered by the supposedly local wealthy businessmen. According to Duterte, may Maranaos engage in business, even including the illegal drug trade. Duterte is contemplating not spending for Marawi. “Anyway, the calamity there was man-made. It was bound to happen because of what they were doing there,” Duterte added in the vernacular. So according to Duterte, Marawi is to blame for what happened, and they should rebuild it themselves.

I can understand why Samira Gutoc is bristling at Duterte’s statement. We have all heard the billions in offered pledges to rebuild Marawi. Nearing two years after the end of hostilities that left devastation almost equal to that of World War II Warsaw, nothing has been started. Then Duterte comes up with a statement like this. Wha3t will the government do with all money promised for Marawi’s rehabilitation? More funds for his bloody war on drugs, where the poor are bearing the full force of it?

Duterte is currently in China. His fourth visit. The plan is to get more deals for his "Build, build, build" program. Is Marawi City still included in those plans? Isn’t a Chinese consortium already in place to tackle the gargantuan rehabilitation? Or would he take that back? Would he also bring up with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping the “Chinese militia” surrounding islands the country already occupies? If they really do not do anything but observe whatever goes on in our islands, or serving as deterrence to any Filipino vessel from approaching, would he ask them to leave? Or would he go into his all-praise China mode and just get as much as he can after the mandatory bowing and flesh pressing?

On another note, an announcement from a mall chain that some of their cinemas showing the Avengers: Endgame movie would have Chinese subtitles have outraged those who have already purchased tickets in advance. Many are asking for refunds. Really, who wants to watch this movie with Chinese subtitles? It’s like watching a cheap, pirated copy, complete with all the reactions from the audience. I can understand if Tagalog subtitles were placed, but Chinese? What's next, street names, public places like Luneta or Rizal Park, popular restaurants of all types of cuisine would now have Chinese characters? Maybe local TV shows would soon have Chinese subtitles. Or maybe, they would now be dubbed in Mandarin.

Is there any doubt of the growing Chinese population in the country, that their needs should now be addressed, care of this administration? Recently, Chinese-owned businesses have been noted springing up in Boracay. We know there are many Chinese in casinos. Many Chinese are illegally working in online businesses.

Change.

korina_abs@yahoo.com

SAMIRA GUTOC
Philstar
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