Imee Marcos optimistic about the “renaissance” of China-Philippine relations; cites PD 1379 granting naturalization of Chinese-Filipinos

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Speaking at the 69th National Day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) celebration at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last October 1, Governor Imee R. Marcos said she looks forward to “the new benchmark of Filipino-Chinese relations,” especially in light of the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.

She recalled the establishment of complete diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China in 1975, which had been initiated by Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM), also pointing out that it has been 40 years since the enactment of Presidential Decree (PD) 1379, which had “granted mass judicial naturalization of Chinese-Filipinos.”

The audience, composed of various Chinese chambers and associations, responded with a roar of applause, prompting the governor to respond, “Thank you very much that you still remember.”

“It had become a cesspool of corruption and extortion to actually become a Filipino citizen. 30,000 applications continued to stagnate even as various agencies and departments would harass and make life difficult for the simple Chinese merchant eking out a living in Binondo, in Cebu, in Davao, and elsewhere,” Marcos recounted.

She then lauded the Chinese community for their extraordinary contributions to the Philippine economy through industry, manufacturing, and new trades as well as agricultural development.

“Today, we are happy to witness a new dawn in Philippine-Chinese relations under the Duterte administration. I have no doubt that once again, our federations – the ‘Tsinoys,’ the Chinese-Filipinos – will play an essential and pivotal role in that development,” she said, calling this period a “renaissance” for the two countries’ relations.

Gov. Marcos also expressed confidence that the Chinese-Filipino community would “traverse both cultures and make understood both sides for trade and development,” adding that the paranoid debates surrounding the relations “befuddled” her.

“After all, unlike so many imperial powers, China has always been a good and great neighbor, never coming to the Philippines in conquest or in war, but instead arriving time and again in friendship, in trade, for business, and for mutual prosperity.

“Tonight, we celebrate the promise of many things that we can do together,” she said. “Mabuhay to the PRC. Mabuhay to the burgeoning of Filipino-Chinese relations.”