Allegation of China posing influence on Philippine election meant to sow discord, stir up instability: analysts
Published: Jul 13, 2021 07:19 PM

Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks before city hall employees in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao on Monday, three days before taking his oath as president. Duterte hit out at

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Photo: AFP

Allegation from a former Philippine diplomat saying China played a role in helping Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte win a landslide victory in 2016 is ridiculous, and it's meant to sow discord between China and the Philippines, Chinese analysts said on Tuesday. 

Such irresponsible remarks will not only harm bilateral ties but also stir up regional stability, analysts said, urging the diplomat not to spread rumors for political gains.

Former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario accused China of helping Duterte to take power in 2016, quoting information he obtained from a "most reliable international entity," Reuters reported Monday.

Duterte's spokesperson Harry Roque described Del Rosario's remarks as "nonsense" and called him a "proven traitor" before telling him to "shut up" in his regular briefing, the report said.

Rosario's allegation comes at a time when some people from the Philippine military, media and domestic pro-US forces have been using the South China Sea issue to play up an "anti-China" atmosphere. They have repeatedly condemned the Duterte administration for disappointing the country, which has put pressure on Duterte who has only one year left in office.

In no way China could have influenced the Philippine presidential election in 2016 as China has maintained a policy of not interfering in internal affairs of other countries. Allegation from Rosario lacks evidence and is served to cater to the domestic anti-China forces ahead of the next presidential election by questioning the legitimacy of President Duterte, Chen Xiangmiao, an assistant research fellow at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in South China's Hainan Province, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Rosario is a pro-America politician who has always been tough on China-related issues, including South China Sea, but making such an unfounded allegation is simply irresponsible for the sake of China-Philippine ties and regional stability, Chen noted. 

As Duterte is in his last tenure and the Biden administration seeks to rally up its allies against China, whether the Philippines government is able to maintain a good relationship with China and safeguard the stability of South China Sea is a test for Duterte before the next successor in office, Chen said.

Duterte is not eligible to seek a second term but has indicated he may run for vice president in the 2022 presidential elections, media reports said.