Del Rosario tells Filipinos: Vote for someone good for PH, not China

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 20) — Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario urged Filipinos to vote for a candidate who's good for the Philippines, not China, in the 2022 elections.

Del Rosario's statement comes after President Rodrigo Duterte accused him of treason for claiming China helped Duterte win the presidency in 2016. 

"For this coming election, our humble view is our people should vote for the candidate who is good for our country, and not one who is good for China," the former public official said.

In his weekly address on the COVID-19 response, the President again criticized Del Rosario for claiming top Chinese officials used their influence in the 2016 elections so that Duterte would win.

Del Rosario had said his information came from a "very reliable international institution."

Duterte strongly denied this and threatened file charges against Del Rosario. The President also defended the 16 million votes he got in 2016.

"If we are in olden times, kung at war lang tayo sana [if we are at war], you are guilty of treason," the chief executive said.

Despite the West Philippine Sea issue, the Duterte administration has kept friendly ties with China. The President has also said the country owes Beijing a huge debt of gratitude for donating COVID-19 vaccines.

However, he maintained that he cannot compromise on some matters, specifically those related to sovereign rights in the disputed waters.