Panelo ‘not surprised’ by ‘poor’ trust rating given to China in SWS survey
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said he is no longer surprised by the “poor” trust rating given by Filipinos to China in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Panelo was reacting to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which showed that Filipinos have given China a “poor” net trust rating while giving the U.S. a “very good” rating and a “moderate” rating for Japan, Malaysia and Israel.
“With respect to the SWS survey, I’m not surprised. After all, we’ve been used to dealing with the United States. In fact we’ve been described as toeing the line of U.S. policies,” Panelo said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
Panelo also said that the “poor” trust rating given to China was because Filipinos are “not aware of real geopolitics.”
“Perhaps the FIlipinos by reason of criticism against the policy of the President are not aware of the real geopolitics of the region,” the spokesman said.
China’s net trust score of -16, or “poor,” in September is 19 points higher than the -35, or “bad,” recorded last June.
Panelo asserted that President Rodrigo Duterte is a “very cautious” diplomat that would rather “talk” with China about the dispute over the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea.
“The President is a very cautious diplomat. He would not want to trigger any conflict in that area because if we do that then we stand to be a flaming collateral damage in case of conflict if not a raging inferno if we become the object of a strategic assault,” Panelo said.
“So rather than provoke, he’d rather talk with them and get some trade relations that would benefit the country,” he added.
The spokesman was also reacting to the SWS survey, which showed that 84 percent of Filipinos believe it was not right that the Philippines should simply allow Beijing build and fortify its military outposts in the disputed territories.
This is up by three points from the 81 percent in the SWS survey last June. /muf
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