Duterte could be negotiating with Donald Trump instead



First Read
Hold your horses, everyone. Don’t pack your bags yet. President Rodrigo Duterte’s big plan to exit the Philippines’ alliance with the United States will need a massive rethink.

This whole dustup between our two governments is being driven by false issues and choices – principally by the fact that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is a lameduck President, who will no longer be in office by January. DU30’s continuous pummeling of Filipino-American relations may have been influenced by this reality. And Obama’s reluctance to engage him in an exchange of insults may be due to the same.

It’s not given that Obama will be succeeded by another Democrat in Hillary Rodham Clinton. Democrats are generally soft on security and foreign policy issues, compared with Republicans, who totally believe they won the Cold War and are tough-minded in foreign relations.

While Hillary at this point is given the edge by most polls in the US election next month, the race took a major turn yesterday in the second presidential debate in Missouri.

The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, took the verbal duel decisively, and in so doing has reset the race. With one month to go before the election, it looks like it will now be a tight contest all the way up to Election Day.

Trump lands more punches
At the debate in Missouri, Trump launched an all-out attack on the Clintons for their sexual past, as he said Bill abused women and Hillary ‘attacked those women viciously’    when they complained.

Before the debate, Trump held a press conference with women who have accused Bill Clinton of rape. The women sat in the front row for the debate – just feet from Clinton, the woman they earlier condemned.

The two candidates locked horns throughout the bitter debate, which Trump backers said he won. Clinton backers, like CNN, said Clinton won it.

Clinton opened the debate by saying that she is concerned about ‘some of the things being said and done in the campaign.’

Trump responded, saying the controversial remarks he made in 2005 that were revealed Friday were ‘locker room talk.’

Moderator Anderson Cooper tried to hold Trump to account for it, saying he ‘bragged’ about assaulting women. But Trump brushed him aside. He accused the moderators of being biased against him, saying it was a ‘one-on-three’ debate.

Sunday’s debate is likely to be discussed for generations in Political Science classes and Women’s Studies seminars. It apparently ended with Republican Donald Trump landing more punches than Clinton, and successfully deflecting attention away from the two-day-old crisis that threatened to derail his White House bid.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has been among Trump’s most forceful defenders, summed up the real estate tycoon’s performance with two words in the post-debate spin room: ‘home run.’

Momentum could change
‘I think the momentum is going to switch, like that,’ Giuliani said. ‘It was one of the biggest victories in a presidential debate, ever.’

From limping into the debate because of the controversy stirred by his tawdry remarks about women he made 11 years ago, Trump emerged with an edge over Clinton on key policy issues.

In contrast, Hillary was battered into incoherence by Trump‘s accusations against her of criminal wrong doing, especially on her emails.

In most post-debate analysis and post-mortem, many said that Trump has positioned himself to win in November.

If he wins the third debate, as he seems likely to, it will be curtains for Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the first female President of the United States.

As vulgar and nasty as DU30
This prognosis will change dramatically the context for the making of Philippine foreign policy and the remaking of Filipino-American relations.

If Trump wins in November, Filipino- American ties will suddenly have two populists, and two loudmouths dealing with each other.

Instead of the soft-power policy team of the Obama administration, by January 20, the Duterte administration will be dealing with a team that is more hard-nosed on foreign policy and security matters.

America will have in Trump a president who can be as vulgar and nasty as President Duterte. Trump will not sit still while DU30 launches his trademark profanities and insults. The Republican party, which will govern with him, has a lot of history behind them. Republicans, led by President William McKinley, made the fateful decision to conquer and annex the Philippines in 1898. His successor, Theodore Roosevelt, rounded America‘s emergence as an empire and world power.

New calculus needed
The changed situation means that a new calculus must be considered in making the fateful and far-reaching decision to pivot away from the US, and toward China and Russia.

This requires more study and strategic analysis than has so far been undertaken. More senior leaders and experts have to be involved. And we, the public, must be invited to contribute our own thinking.

Nobody has seriously bothered to calculate what we Filipinos will gain by pivoting toward China and Russia, and what we will be losing by leaving America’s side. Administration officials have been more delusional than clear-eyed about the road ahead. Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay appears lost in his rhetoric about “little brown brothers” and “America having failed us.”

With Republicans sitting across the table from him, his vocabulary and tone will change.

Third World leaders who pick on the US do not get to wave the dirty finger at Uncle Sam for very long. If outright US retaliation does not wipe away their insolence, economic forces in the new global economy, sooner or later, strangle them in crisis. The detested and demented Qadafi regime in Libya shut up quickly and ended his terrorist adventures when Ronald Reagan fired a missile at his desert home in 1986, killing among others one of his grandchildren.

The irrepressible Hugo Chavez of Venezuela also learned his lesson after calling George W. Bush the devil incarnate at the United Nations, but cancer proved much faster in striking him down.

Does President Duterte really intend to keep on taunting the CIA to oust him? That’s unlikely now.



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  1. I saw the second debate on tv. Who said he won in that debate over hillary? He is clueless about their foreign policy, among others. Clearly, Trump will lose come November.

  2. Duterte’s foul mouth reactions to everyone like the Pope, Obama and other foreign envoy is intolerable and unacceptable and he has apologized esp to the Pope,Accdg to his ex-wife and sister ,he has been this way ,cursed a lot and they forewarned him to be careful when he become President , as this could be taken in the wrong context. He is 70 yrs old , lawyer (prosecutor) humble strongest advocate of peace cares about his countrymen esp the innocent children victims of illegal drug abuse.as a mayor in one of the progressive city in Mindanao and also a disciplinarian.The people of Phl republic elected him hoping what he did in Davao will improve their hopeless lives. jobless, loss of self- esteem , rampant crime, unsafe and injustices , corrupt politicians not serving the poor interest esp the poor who becomes poorer , the elite rich bece richer. because of no financial security they end up to sell drugs catering to the chinese drug lord. Aquino IIi wrong priorities , looking after his Personal Interest first And failed governance contributed to rampant corruption in govt, high crime uncontrollable illegal drug use which Duterte inherited, absolutely he has to take to correct the serious problem the many poor who are currently suffering.

  3. This nasty and evil president Duterte will get a dose of his own medicine if Trump wins. Lets pray to save the Philippines from this bully, evil President Duterte. Agot Isidro is totally correct. Duterte is acting like a president of a superpower country when in fact it is not. Many Filipinos are like him that they tend to have full of air in their heads when they win a seat in the government and so are the “copy cats” of American culture like the Gutierrez family who made a living in the U.S. by selling “kalderos”. They actors and actresses act like somebody in the Philippines but they are just ordinary people in the U.S. who cannot even land a good paying job like Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby. They are nothing but “trying so hard” people. Piolo Pascual tries his best to communicate in English but he can not.

  4. Duterte is just another Dictator Hitler fanatic Murderer. They never last long.

    He is like a stool which will not go. Take a laxative and flush it down the toilet and you will feel much better and be much healthier

  5. I am voting Trump for the betterment of the USA. I am voting for him on the basis of TRUSTWORTHINESS and TRUMP NOT BEING A TRAPO. On top of that, I wonder how Bill Clinton and Hilary are now worth more than $100 Million. When Bill was a college student at Georgetown U. he got a tight daily budget. I am a regular parent, but I supported my son’s allowance at Georgetown many times the allowance of Bill. Since then Bill and Hilary have worked for the American government as president and senator and secretary of state. Before they became politicians, they didn’t even own a house. Today they own expensive houses in Washington, DC and in Upstate New York. In America most of the self made mega millionaires and billionaires have done it at the private free enterprise, not as a career politician. Obama was poor before he became president. Watch his worth later.

    TRUMP made himself as a multi-billionaire through handwork and private enterprise. He has never enriched himself as a government servant. His issue about women is nonsense. From Jefferson to Kennedy tell me a president who is not a womanizer. Top people got their super energy from women.

    Hoping TRUMP will win, it will be exciting to see the duel between him and DU30.

    Obama is not a fighting president. America is not being respected anymore, unlike before. Hilary is the extension of Obama. Russia and China cannot be run by diplomacy. America needs a superior personality president. America must stay as a winner. The victors write the history. America needs a fighting president, as a deterrent from the abuses coming from even small countries like North Korea. Let us make America great again. It is only Donald Trum who can do it.

  6. Jayne Gadugdug on

    What debate were you watching? Check the facts first before you write anything. It seems you think you could do better than DU30. Wake up man!!

  7. Yes, I agree. I think CNN is not being fair on their review about last night’ s Debate when they have somehow declared Trump’ s lost. They are brainwashing their readers that Trump will have to drop out over Clinton’ s edge in popular support from US, as they claim.

    I am on Trump Team| Clintons are Hotdogs and are full of hypocrisy.

    Hellary Clinton even said on an interview at ET RJTV show that they are ruthless| not yielding to good. She even thinks that Life is a Game by having a PlayBook| Life is Real, she should know that. Players have no space in Jesus Christ’ s Heaven. It is either one is good or one is bad.

    I can say many not nice things about Clinton but one thing is for sure| she LIES: EVIL.

    Digong might do well with Trump anyways.

  8. Duterte, Putin, Trump, Nigel Farage (BREXIT) are all anti-globalists. We will see the disintegration of EU (France-FREXIT and Hungary-HEXIT). We will see the financial crisis that will be brought about by the DEUTCHE Bank of Germany.

  9. USA vote their President in terms of loyalty to the PARTY (Democrat or Republican), in the Philippines use our hearts, popularity of the candidate. It is only the first time in Philippines political history that nobody mayor became a President.
    Clinton will probably not interested with the Philippines due to criticism of our President to President Obama, while Trump will probably put his energy in building the USA economy.
    So where, what, how will the Philippine relay on? I grew up thinking everything USA is good, now that I’m senior citizen I can see the “Carrot and Stick”.

  10. Leodegardo Pruna on

    I second the motion of Mr. Yen. Trump, as former Mayor Giuliani observed, made a home run. Hopefully, the momentum should be maintained. The third debate could be the clincher. What could finally decide the contest is who the lesser evil is taking into consideration the motivation and behavior of the candidates while running their respective businesses. God bless the Philippines.

  11. It is all in your mind Sir. Your mind is so imaginative and creative. You should be writing a book not a commentary.

  12. Wow, like someone else wrote here, we must have been watching different debates. Trump is continuing to sink in the polls and his own party is deserting him. And all he keeps doing is spewing more hate and anger. I seriously doubt duterte will be chatting with Trump as president.

  13. We must have been watching different debates. I thought Trump failed poorly again. The bookmakers seemed to agree with my summation. Trump has now drifted another 20 cents to $4.40 against Hilary into $1.25. He’s no chance.

    • What? You are relying on MSM (Main stream media) owned by the globalists who wants Killary to be their puppet like Obama.

    • He might have had a day watching FOX NEWS CHANNEL.

      “The two candidates locked horns throughout the bitter debate, which Trump backers said he won. Clinton backers, like CNN, said Clinton won it.”

      CNN’s political party is the GOP and just bitter its candidate, Jeb B., lost to Trump early in the game.

  14. Nah. Duterte and Obama will just have another one of those mysogynistic locker room banters and everything will be okay.

    If Hillary wins, according to the author, it’ll be sunshiney here in the Philippines as well.

    Oh, man, did I vote for the best president or what? Duterte’s the main man either way, bro, either way.