Can anyone decode Duterte?

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FRANCISCO S. TATAD

FRANCISCO S. TATAD

No one at home or abroad could presume to do this authoritatively. What PDU30 says today he might revoke or withdraw tomorrow, only to pick it up again the next day and reverse his position again, the following day. This is shown by his series of somersaults on his government’s intended relationship with the United States, which is the nation’s oldest and strongest ally, and the United Nations, of which the Philippines is a founding member.

His statements are not formally announced as “policy.”

They are off-the-cuff remarks in response to reported comments on the summary killings in his war on drugs, but everything that comes out of his mouth, including the cuss words and fetid insults against the highest ranking foreign dignitaries, is interpreted as policy. His moods swing from one extreme to another with mercurial predictability.

First he insults UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Agnes Callamard for saying something about extrajudicial killings. In a sense, there are no extrajudicial killings in the Philippines because there is no death penalty and, therefore, no killings ordered by the judiciary, the exceptions to which would be called “extrajudicial killings.” But in another sense, all killings by the police without due process of law, would be called extrajudicial killings.


DU30 says “f***k you” to Ban Ki-moon, and calls the UN “useless” and “incompetent” for failing to fix the problems of the Middle East. He also calls US President Obama “son of a whore” and gives the European Union the “middle finger” for wanting to talk to him on the same subject. After a short calm after the storm, he is reported to have rolled out the welcome mat for an 18-man UN delegation coming to inquire into alleged human rights abuses, adding that even Obama could also come and see things for himself.

A knockout punch
This was a knockout punch for those who had been worrying about his livid putdown of Ban Ki-moon, and his erstwhile threat to quit the UN, which he subsequently withdrew. But, contrary to the Philippine Star banner story on the alleged UN inquiry, it turns out that the world body had not intended to send any such group to the Philippines.

Instead, the 18-man Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would be meeting in Geneva today (Central European Time) to review “a range of issues relating to the Philippine implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.” This is a regular annual activity, which would have happened anyway, even if DU30’s war on drugs had not killed 3,000.

In apparent anticipation of the UN mission, thousands of DU30’s supporters gathered at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City the other day to manifest support for DU30. Pro-DU30 speeches were delivered by government functionaries and a motley group of supporters. It turned out that the highly sensationalized news headline had no basis in fact. Despite DU30’s strong words against the UN, it has not treated the Philippines the way it has treated North Korea.

Not quite like North Korea
In the case of Pyongyang, the UN Human Rights Council established a Commission on Inquiry on March 21, 2013 to investigate “the systematic widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with a view to ensuring full accountability, in particular for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity.” These include “the right to food, those associated with prison camps, torture and inhuman treatment, arbitrary detention, discrimination, freedom of expression, the right to life, freedom of movement, enforced disappearances, including in the form of abductions of foreign nationals.”

The menu for the Philippines cannot possibly be as extensive as that, so there has been no attempt to create a commission on inquiry for DU30. Callamard was last reported as saying she would like to conduct her own inquiry, if the DU30 government could guarantee her personal safety, but the UNHRC as such seems willing to limit its “review” of the Philippine situation within the framework of its regular annual activity. There was, therefore, no reason for the sensational news story.

Yasay’s demagoguery
Now, if DU30 did not know this when he “welcomed” the proposed visit of the UN delegation, then there’s something awfully wrong with his administration. If, on the other hand, DU30 had announced his “welcome,” knowing that the delegation would not be coming anyway, he could be faulted for having stooped a little too low to play a cheap propaganda play. This was not helped by Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. regurgitating all those DU30 cliches that established nothing, in his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly.

The speech was what, in my presidential speechwriting days, I would call a “gas station” speech. Pure and simple demagoguery. A recommended cure for some diplomats’ insomnia. No wonder Yasay’s full color photo on the front pages of Tuesday’s newspapers did not show Ban Ki-moon in his chair during his delivery.

With respect to the US, DU30’s position seems to have gone full circle. After cursing Obama and causing the US President to cancel a proposed meeting on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Vientiane, he said he would like to see the pullout of US troops in Mindanao. He also decided to end the joint patrols with the US, Australia and Japan in the South China Sea. He was publicly rebuked by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who said the US troops would stay in Mindanao. Then the Defense Department announced that 1,400 US troops from Okinawa, Japan and 500 Filipino troops would stage war games in Luzon from Oct. 4 to 12.

DU30 talks of crossing the Rubicon
But in a new political twist on Monday, DU30 said he was about to cross the “Rubicon” between him and the United States, and that he had discussed the matter with Russian Prime Minister Dmtry Medvedev during a meeting on the sidelines of the Vientiane summit. “Crossing the Rubicon” refers to Julius Caesar’s army crossing the shallow Rubicon river in 49 BC on the march to Rome; Caesar said, “alea acta est”—the die is cast! The phrase has since come to mean passing a point of no return.

The amazing thing is that DU30 announces his moves before he actually makes them, apparently unconcerned about their possible consequences. He has now announced his plan to buy weapons from China and Russia, and visit China, Japan and Russia, while maintaining his Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US. He is scheduled to make a two-day visit to Vietnam starting today.

One thing he has not talked about, though, is the reported meeting between some Leftist members of his Cabinet and members of the Communist Parties of Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and China in Vientiane during the Asean summit. This story has not been confirmed, neither has it been denied. But our original sources insist on its veracity, saying the Cabinet officials concerned had no role to play in the summit to justify their being there on taxpayers’ expense. They are not sure, though, that DU30 personally knew about it.

Our sources believe that DU30’s coalition partners may have actually proposed reviving the old arrangement with China’s communist party, which was put to an end when Marcos asked Beijing in 1975 to cut off its support for the CPP/NPA/NDF in exchange for Philippine recognition of the One-China Policy. If this theory is correct, DU30 would be in a pickle if this was a secret his communist partners had kept away from him, but he would have a lot of explaining to do to the Filipino people if he’s in fact a part of it.

fstatad@gmail.com

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24 Comments

    • The president’s remark about the UN because it is a useless body and solve nothing in the world. It’s a corrupt body and Mr. Moon is a wimp and a puppet and a wimp. Obama is unpopular president with agenda to bring down America so Duterte has a point. On. is a dismal failure.

  1. You are asking how to decode Duterte? I suggest Mr. Tatad that you need a decoding questionnaire and ask for a one on one interview with Duterte to address all your concerns and everything you want to know about him under the sun.

  2. According to Dr. Natividad Dayan former President of the International Council of Psychologists in her clinical report submitted to a Pasig Court in connection with the annulment of marriage filed by his first wife which was granted by the Court, it was found out that Mr. Duterte is really sick & continues to be sick w/ ANTI-SOCIAL NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER” otherwise known as “PSYCOPATHY”. His character is the sum total of his acquired values since childhood days from his parents, relatives/ in-laws, friends, religion, school, organizations & other influential environmental factors which largely contributed to his MISPLACED & DISTORTED BEHAVIOR. At 71++y/o, no amount of metamorphosis will change him attitude. Before things get worst, let’s be vigilant & committed to our Constitution – the rule of law & due process. God bless the Philippines !!

    • not bad for a psycopath to have those 700k + addicts and pushers to give up, 65k + pushers/addicts apprehended by the security forces, and more than 2k killed in police op and by fellow druggies. early on crimes are dropping at high rate….not bad, not bad at all!!

      Dayan? the bell rings to me….

  3. looks like there is a need to moderate drinking coffee this time. also, watch other movies other than hollywood ones. watching too much hollywood movies will bring you to rubicon as long as you live.
    when obama learned the meaning of PI, digong thrown unto him he paused a while and later on he realized that after ‘all there could have truth to ‘that. obama’s mother was fascinated with exotic men which was came into reality when she worked with james bond. it started in kenya when she met obama’s father, a muslim. later on they divorced and she went on with her work, which landed her to indonesia. in indonesia she met another guy whom she fell in love and get married to a colonel in the security force of indonesia. the guy whose work is to get rid of all commies in the country side of indonesia bodes very well with the work of his wife working for james bond. in the process, they compliment each other…..so the story goes…now, geopolitical scientest could start a new paradigm on international diplomacy, with the entry and a new usage of the word F*ck into F*ck U diplomacy…let’s see how this concept works.

  4. Yonkers, New York
    28 September 2016

    There is now enough evidence to show that this Little Tyrant of a “President,” Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is a LOOSE CANNON.

    He has that contemptible and dangerous penchant for saying one thing one minute and correcting or controverting himself the next–but completely dismissive of the consequences, intended and unintended, his irresponsible actions entail in their wake.

    One thing is now clear, however: He is slowly but surely turning his back on the United States, the country’s long and tried democratic ally, and is now embracing communist China and Russia as the Philippines new “allies.”

    It is possible that in his mind, the Philippines would be better off–perhaps economically and geostrategically–by acquiring and embracing COMMUNIST China and Russia as new allies.

    Once he succeeds in this, there is a very good chance that within the next three years, Duterte will have succeeded in getting the Philippines to turn its back completely on “Democracy” and instead embrace COMMUNISM as the country’s new ideology.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  5. PDU30 is a colorful guy that loves to use filthy words to describe people or places he doesn’t like. He doesn’t give a flying f**k what the U.N. nor the rest of the world leaders think about him on how he fights drugs in his country. As a matter of fact, over 92% of the country’s population love this guy because his intense desire to kill people that are involved in drugs. The silent majority support and want PDU30 to continue what he started, to clean up the drug mess and should incorporate killing those politicians that plundered the Filipinos hard earned money. It will be a long journey, and more lives will be lost, but that is all part of the process.

  6. Duterte is leaning towards countries such as China and Russia that cannot be trusted and have a tendency to gobble their independent neighbor (remember Crimea in Ukraine and Taiwan, Hongkong). These countries are also known to state-sponsor cyber attacks that steal trade secrets and copy these secrets in order to boost manufacturing. Are these the countries that we should now be calling allies instead of our long time partners such as US and Europe? Russia and China are communist countries, are we willing to follow Duterte and become ourselves communists? Are we willing to give up our rights, our democracy?

    Think hard my fellow countrymen, this is the time for critical thinking. Let us not be blinded by popularity and charisma of a popular leader that gradually steers our country towards self-destruction.

    • takot sigurong magtrabaho like ordinary person. sa norway, political asylum ang papel nila at meron pa yatang sustento. sa china kakayod sila para kumain. walang pinagkaiba duon sa mga pinoys na nasa usa nung panahon ni makoy na tinatawag na steak commandos.

    • he must refrain himself being interviewed…he must revive his self impose ban to the media and let his mouthpiece do the talking…it will be good for him and to us all because he can focus all his effort by pure action…

    • Mr. Duterte’s anger & emotions are just the effects of his MISPLACED & DISTORTED VALUES which in turn is reflected in his behavior, attitude & character. As they say, “behavior more often than not does not lie”.

  7. It’s unfortunate that the entire nation would have to pay for the stupidity caused by the 16 million who voted for Du30.

  8. There’s no doubt about the relationship between China and Du-Dirty. China financed the candidacy of STUPID Duterte in exchange for the Spratlys Islands and the release of all NPA/communist prisoners. The Philippine government now is in disarray whereby the President is EVIL and lunatic and his followers and allies are just rubber stamp government employees who will always say “YES” to everything that this stupid president wishes. His allies know that there is something wrong with the president and they are all in line to defend the stupidity of Duterte. The Du-Dirty government consists of cabinet members (most especially Yasay) that are of below IQ and average intellectuals. Let us all pray to save the Philippines from Duterte and his stupid allies.

    • just pray that he will not go to hell because if it happened he will replace satan and you will suffer eternal death..idiot!!!!

    • Meron naman above IQ sa cabinet… si Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Sana ma maintain niya IQ niya.

  9. China has already repudiated Philippine Maoists as “not our Maoists but somebody else’s Maoists” and I am sure you have an idea of what superpower that somebody is. I don’t think the real communists here in Asia will ever trust Joma’s boys. I hope that Duterte is aware that in the current peace talks with these “leftists,” it is possible he is being baited into a trap so that he can be crushed by these Filipino Maoists real master. To pray for Duterte is to pray for the people.