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That was reckless! Ex-Ateneo dean Tony La Viña scores Duterte’s flip-flopping on West PH Sea

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Former Ateneo School of Government dean Tony La Viña believes President Rodrigo Duterte made the wrong call in announcing his plan to go to the Kalayaan Group of Islands on June 12 to plant a Philippine flag.

In a Facebook post last April 14, La Viña, who now teaches law at the San Beda College of Law and other schools, shared someone’s observation about Duterte’s behavior being akin to that of a bully.

“[T]ough in front of the weak but cowardly in front of the stronger other,” he said.

While La Viña said he does not fully agree with the observation, he said: “[D]efinitely the President should not have even said he planned to go to the disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea. That was reckless of him.”

La Viña’s comment accompanied a link to an article by GMA News titled “China sees improvement in relations after Duterte cancels Spratlys visit.”

Days after declaring his plan to visit the Spratlys Group of Islands on Independence Day to assert Philippine sovereignty, Duterte pulled back on his vow in a speech before the Filipino community in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on April 12.

“Because of our friendship with China and because we value your friendship I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag,” he said.