DU30’s separation from America

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AS he himself admitted, he could not possibly separate the Philippines and our Republic from America– severe ties with the USA. These ties are formalized through treaties. It would need acts of our Congress to break those ties. That is why he said he only meant the separation to be between him—the individual Rodrigo Roa Duterte—and the USA and possibly by inference American human beings. And he made this more manifest by speaking to the Chinese leaders and the Chinese people about his affection for China and his being politically, economically and even militarily attracted to China and the Chinese.

That unfortunate display of sentimentality, which we know must have disappointed not just the Americans but also those Chinese whose high hopes in their country’s foreign affairs is to become a friend of the United States and of the Philippines and the Filipinos they prize for being the “Americans of Asia.” Those who study Chinese-Philippine relations rigorously do not lose sight of this fact of our being.

It cannot be denied that Filipinos and Americans mostly value our two countries’ long-standing friendship. This friendship developed after the forces of the First Philippine Republic were defeated by those of the United States and our archipelago became an American colony.

The Philippines and the United States have maintained closeness that some Filipinos call a “special relationship.” Cynically, some Filipinos laugh about that fiction—for they say the US government does not do anything with, in and for the Philippines unless it serves US interests. That, to us, is an unproductive and unnecessarily negative way of seeing these ties. For, despite the exaggerated claims of less than mature nationalists, our country and people nowadays do not do anything with the USA unless it serves our interests. That is how mature governments and peoples deal with each other.


It is true, however, that some Filipinos are more sentimentally attached to America than others. And we suspect that for various reasons—the foremost one being the predominance of American good life images on TV and films—much more than 50 percent of all Filipinos would vote for the Philippines to become an American state. That is because our Filipino leaders have governed our country like hell (as the Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon said he preferred to being governed by Americans).

It is hard to deny that life for the majority of Filipinos was better because we were better off and less corruptly governed when we had American governors-general than when we had Filipino presidents. Life under the gone and unlamented Aquino administration definitely has not been a relief from our decades of unhappy misgovernance by Filipino officials. And we still have to see what kind of governance we will really have under President Duterte (although his performance these 100-plus days boosts our hope that he will be the best president so far).

Some Filipinos, and to this segment of our population President Duterte obviously belongs, loathe themselves for having been influenced by America and Americans. The more is their bitterness if, as in President DU30’s case, they have experienced applying for a visa at the US Embassy and getting rejected.

Feelings of hatred for the United States—for that matter, feelings of hatred for other countries and peoples—should play no role in our dealings with them. Our objective should always be to promote our smallest and highest national interests.

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5 Comments

  1. You know author, the rejection of visaa is not the reason, iitwas a sideline. You must know Michael Meiring and the conditional aid of the US wwre the major reasons.

  2. mario san antonio on

    du30’s announcement of his separation from US was not as to his own person only. he said the separation is for economic and military ties. his spokesmen have a hard time ‘explaining’ what he means even though the declaration is so clear and unequivocal. of course, he soon realized his blunder because in fact and in law he is bereft of power to cut the ties. the problem really is, he is ill prepared for his speeches, does not follow scripts and does not even consult with his cabinet and advisers because he thinks he knows what he is doing… his credibility has tremendously suffered and all his utterances cannot be trusted. he takes everything as a big joke, like he is, makes fun of his foul mouth, brags about his immorality, he has no clue about diplomacy, he incites, directly and indirectly, killing suspects before investigation – contrary to the basic right to life provision in our constitution and what legal processes require

    • Prof. Contreras best explained why in his column entitled”‘ The Post-modern President’. A fine reading.

  3. Now that the world is focus on South East Asian problem, how would the US react, if majority of Filipinos, would vote asking the Philippines to become a territory of US. Will US want the idea?

    • Philippines being a territory of America will never never happen. So remove that idea in your mind. Duterte has a deep hatred against the US. Majority of Filipinos loves the US but some felt a deep hatred to the US. I have been there , work there and retired there in US and now resides in RP. I never felt tat I belong there. They are good nation but for some reason, I do not like to live there.