After Panelo bared China’s tit-for-tat deportation plan if undocumented Chinese workers are kicked out of PH
Labor groups and a lawmaker on Wednesday lambasted the Duterte administration for “kowtowing” to China after its ambassador “bullied” the government into not taking action against Chinese illegally working in the Philippines.
The Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) said Ambassador Zhao Jianhua’s threat of tit-for-tat deportations of Filipinos working in China was not only a display of his government’s “arrogance” but also showed how the Asian economic powerhouse regarded the Philippines.
“The ambassador is acting like a bully in issuing threats to harm Filipinos in China. [We] believe that this latest example of bullying by the Chinese ambassador is the result of President Duterte’s mendicancy toward China,” Sentro secretary general Josua Mata told reporters.
Not the same situation
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin bristled at Zhao’s “threat” to deport Filipinos from China if Philippine authorities summarily kicked out undocumented Chinese workers.
The situation of Filipinos in China is not the same as that of the Chinese illegally working in the Philippines, Villarin said in a statement, noting that the Filipinos in China are legitimately working there.
“The Philippines has been sending its skilled workers all around the world and has done so following all the legal processes of foreign employment,” Villarin said.
“Chinese nationals illegally entering and working in the Philippines have no rights for their continued stay, having violated Philippine laws,” he said.
Villarin said Zhao’s words about mutual deportations, as quoted by President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo, smacked of “political blackmail and bullying that should merit a diplomatic protest from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).”
On Tuesday, Panelo told reporters that he had dinner with Zhao recently and that the Chinese diplomat had told him China would “do the same” if the Philippines deported Chinese workers without due process.
“That is what the Chinese ambassador told me during the dinner, that if this government will just deport Chinese not in accordance with the law, then we will also do the same. That’s tit for tat,” Panelo said.