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Philippine govt scapegoats former commander for reaching new agreement with China on disputes, triggering wide discontent and insider revelations

2024-05-20 09:58:39       source:Global Times

May 19, 2024

Efforts to de-escalate tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea by agreeing to a "new model" for resupply missions concerning Ren'ai Jiao (also known as Ren'ai Reef) have forced Philippines' vice admiral Alberto Carlos, the commander of the AFP Western Command (Wescom), to leave the post and get replaced quickly. Observers considered him to be a scapegoat, as the Filipino senior military officials who authorized him to sit at the negotiating table all denied their involvement, leading to a huge domestic controversy and triggering more insider revelations.

Experts said this reflects the Philippine government's untrustworthiness and discredits Philippine military, leading to a crisis of public trust. 

At the same time, amid the Philippines' recent provocations in the South China Sea and mounting tensions with China, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Saturday that his country will "vigorously defend what is ours." 

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