China should prove itself to be trustworthy, Malacanang said on Friday, as the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed the Philippines’ powerful neighbor is among the least trusted by Filipinos.
The SWS survey, conducted from Dec. 8 to 16, showed the United States and Japan remained the countries most trusted by Filipinos while China was among the least trusted.
“Matagal na po kasi nating kaalyado ang Amerika at Japan at bagong kaibigan lang natin ang Tsina so hindi po nakapagtataka,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Paniqui, Tarlac.
Roque said Filipinos should give a chance to China, who made a commitment to bring more investments in the Philippines and send more tourists to the country, as Beijing and Manila strengthen its relationship under the Duterte administration.
“So tingnan po natin kung ano nga ang mangyayari sa kanilang mga pangako,” he said.
The Palace official said the Philippines and China need more time to improve their ties, which have been strained in the past due to our maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
“Bago lang po ang pagkakaibigan, siyempre kinakailangan ng panahon bago tayo maging BFF (best friends forever),” he said.
Asked about the government’s move to change the perception of Filipinos on China, Roque said it’s now in the hands of China to gain the trust of Filipinos.
“E siguro po nasa Tsina na yan. Kung bibigyan nila ng katuparan, ang kanilang mga pangako, kung hindi tayo magkakagulo dahil sa West Philippine Sea, kung sila’y tutupad sa kanilang pangako na hindi sila magkakaroon ng bagong reclamation at bagong artificial islands, ang Pilipino e nasa anyo naman natin na mas nais nating maging kaibigan kaysa making kaaway,” he said.
“So like all relationships, this is a two-sided relationship, we want to trust China but China must also prove herself to be trustworthy,” he added./lb