‘Duterte rebalancing foreign policy’

REAT PIVOT President Rodrigo Duterte attends a meeting with the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Zhang Dejiang, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Duterte’s shock statement of “separation” from the United States was the strongest signal he wants to end a 70-year alliance in favor of China and Russia. AFP POOL PHOTO BY WU HONG

REAT PIVOT President Rodrigo Duterte attends a meeting with the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Zhang Dejiang, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Duterte’s shock statement of “separation” from the United States was the strongest signal he wants to end a 70-year alliance in favor of China and Russia. AFP POOL PHOTO BY WU HONG

THE pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte on a military and economic “separation” from the United States should not be viewed as a total break of ties between Manila and Washington but more of a move to rebalance the relationship of the Philippines with other nations, a political analyst said Friday.

Ramon Casiple of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform said the President just wanted to put an end to the “special relations” between the Philippines and the US, which had been more beneficial to the latter.

While Washington has been saying that it has a deep relationship with the Philippines, the country has not been getting fair treatment, Casiple said.

He cited the strict US visa requirements imposed on Filipinos, which was mentioned by Duterte during his speech before the Filipino community in Beijing on Wednesday.

Filipinos, he noted, have to undergo a strict and expensive US visa process with a high chance of being denied, while US passport holders can enter the Philippines visa-free.

Casiple also cited the special treatment accorded to US military personnel who have committed crimes in the Philippines, who are put under the custody of the US embassy in Manila instead of being detained in regular jails.

“The President wants to put an end to these,” he said.

“The US should treat us as equals and without the mutually agreed privileges wherein they will impose something and we will follow,” the political analyst added.

Casiple said the announcement was not surprising considering the President had made similar announcements in the past.

He added that there should be no negative effects on the country’s economic relations with the US, noting that
US companies were earning profits in the Philippines and would not pull their business out just because relations between Manila and Washington have turned sour.


Some senators questioned the “earth-shaking foreign policy overhaul” of Duterte that seemed to have not undergone a thorough study and was kept secret from the public.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said foreign policy should be well-thought and not simply blurted out.
While Recto admitted that the country’s relationship with US was not perfect, a country that had illegally built a “great wall of sand” within the Philippines’ territorial waters—China—was far from the epitome of a good friend either.

“By all means, let us push all the reboot buttons with all countries but without having to blast to pieces some of the good relations our nation has nurtured for generations,” he added.

As to joining Russia and China in a “new axis,” Recto said, the Duterte administration should fix the country’s traffic problems first before joining in the power games of nuclear states.

Senator Leila de Lima, the President’s arch-nemesis, said the decision of Duterte to keep his announcement from the Filipino people and reveal it first in a foreign land was a betrayal.

“Why did he choose to make a huge announcement in a foreign visit? It’s one thing to keep your Cabinet members in the dark—which is deeply troubling in itself —but it’s a whole level of betrayal to keep that from the Filipino people, and to announce it for the first time in front of foreigners,” de Lima said.


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  1. Philippines -US relations may not be that perfect, but for crying out loud, why would Duterte sever its ties from the United States without prior consultation from the Filipinos?
    Is he deceiving the Filipinos that he’s after their welfare and as his behaviour unfolds with a series of events that have happened, he’s having a hidden agenda after all. Where is he leading the Philippines with his rhetorics?
    Are we looking at a new demagogue or a tyrant in waiting?
    It’s claimed he’s surrounded by brilliant men and women in his Cabinet, but can they not do damage control before he opens his mouth, not after he pronounced his sentiments.
    It’s becoming a laughing circus. All his expressing are sentiments and not the good will of the Filipinos. Let him stick to the script.

    • Angelo Pempena on

      Edna Penaflor,

      You are a close minded and opinionated person.

      I am judging you because you judge first, you have thrown the first stone without verifying the hard facts.

      Separation is different from Severance, President Duterte is separating the Philippines from unfair foreign polices of USA which is so favorable to them only. Is it not good to look after the benefits of the Philippines first!

      During the years 2011 to 2015 under the term of President Noynoy Aquino, did the Americans stop China from the massive land fills in the Spratlys? No, they didnt stop China. After winning the case in tribunal of UNCLOS, did America impose the rule? No. they said to Duterte, deal with China bilateraly and that is what President Duterte did.

      Check your facts before issuing your biased opinions.

  2. The changing face of political alliance and strength in Southeast Asia, especially in the south China sea, will change the balance of power globally.

    The Philippines now has a serious President, (Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte, affectionately known as Digong or DU30. A president who is not worried about offending the opposition parties in his sovereign state. He calls it as it is. Before he was elected he warned the drug lords he would give them one chance to surrender or alternately be hunted down. He has kept his word.

    The encumbered President at this moment enjoys more than an 87% popularity rating in the Philippines, the highest ever account to any serving President in the Philippines.

    Drug use has dropped nationwide by more than 37% on average per capita. Drug related crimes have been reduced by more than 54% nationwide. Everything accomplished within 8 weeks of taking office.

    Never before did the Philippines have a national telephone emergency hotline number. Now the Philippines has one “911”. Almost accomplished instantly. Its makes one wonder what have all the other political leaders been doing whist they were in office. Notably the President accomplishment far out reach what I have mentioned here.

    However, this analysis commentary is not about his extremely impressive popularity in the Philippines or the anti international sentiments that seem to accuse him of crimes against humanity because of the war he has created against drug lords and drug pushers. His method might be unorthodox, but it is effective and producing incredible results that other countries can only dream of. His critics sometimes judge him as a dictator. But what is a dictator in this modern world? Is it one that goes after another country for its oil and false accuse it of harboring weapons of mass destruction and then some 15 years later still fighting that war, a war that should never have happened, a war that was proclaimed on false intelligence information.

    So what is happening in the Philippines. Well its simple the balance of power in the pacific has shifted. DU-30 has simply taken control of the sovereign Philippines, and now the US State Department is not only shocked but scrambling to negotiate and figure out how they can maintain control of the pacific. The Philippines dragon has awoken and is now sailing its own course, establishing its own destiny, not one planned and manipulated by the US State department.

    DU-30 has strategically taken control of the Philippines and his iron fist rule supported whole heartily throughout the Philippines has changed the face of the Philippines forever. No longer a puppet country of the US, it (the Philippines) is becoming a super power in the pacific. Why? It’s very simple. By separating the military reliance of the Philippines with the US and instead heading its own path the Philippines has merged statically with Russia. This means that the Philippines need no longer rely on US support against defending itself against possible threats from neighboring nations like China in regards to the internationally disputed territories of the South China sea. In fact, the maneuvering of the Philippines closer to Russia, has China backing off the pressure on its claims in the disputed territories with the Philippines. Relationship economically and military wise between China and the Philippines has improved. Trade deals are set to flourish by the second quarter of 2017.

    With Russia holding out the golden branch of friendship to the Philippines, with promised trade deals and soft loans gives them (Russia) a serious political edge in the pacific and more importantly a strategic military presence in the south China sea. A presence never seen before. This fact scares the US State Department because a loss of superior military pressence in the pacific is not only a global shift of the balance of power, it creates massive commercial opportunities for Russia and mega massive trade opportunities for the Philippines.

    What does this mean effectively on the big scale? Simply stated. The Philippines becomes a regional power in the pacific, commercially, economically and military. An alliance with Russia will open up new trade deals to a monetary value that the US could never match. Trade deals between the Philippines, Russia and China, will restructure economic might globally. It’s a great move for the Philippines that will take it back to the 1980’s regional economic power it enjoyed in South East Asia during the Marcos years. The adverse side effect a strategic alliance between the Philippines and Russia, is that it puts the world back on a cold war footing between Russia and the USA. Economically speaking, it’s a good thing. Regional security wise, it could lead to military conflicts and skirmishes in the pacific, between the super powers. For now, slowly the Philippines standard on living will improve, will climb to new heights and gain momentum, creating new opportunities for everyday Filipinos, a chance for a good life, a chance to be able to earn and grow as a nation, as a people and as individual families. Something the poor everyday Filipino has never had a chance to enjoy.

    For the US State Department, they will need to re-think statically how to maneuvered in the pacific., and who to team up with.

    In closing, I would only hope that DU-30’s opposition to his service, will NOT try and adversely remove him.
    Christian PW Faust

    • Many Filipinos sad to say have an inferiority complex to Caucasians especially Americans which is why they choose and love to imbibe the American culture and Western ways and dictates. Among many Filipinos there is no love at all for their own country, their culture, their history.

  3. I have witnessed before hand discrimination from Caucasians/white people when I came to N. America during 1990`s. But, unashamedly some pinoys prefer to be friendly with the whites in spite of racist remarks about filipinos. (e.g. thick lips ,shorty, brownies, eat like pigs etc.)

    Some pinoys just have thicker skins. I remember pinoys wants to be kaibigan with this whites trying hard to please them by joining their conversations eventhough this Caucasians doesn`t want this pinoys to join with them beacsue of our English who couldn`t pronounce properly.
    My apologies I am a mix blood pinoy, too much is too much but to the rests of pinoys who are suckers to whites shame on you…

  4. the words of Mr. Casiple should be required reading for all Filipinos, particularly the young ones. for far too long, we have been brainwashed to believe in the benevolence of the US. to be sure, the US was successful in this brainwashing, giving the Filipinos the perception that they have a special relationship with the US when, in fact, all these times, they were treated like shit. we Filipinos should realise this for what it is and we have to thank our president for opening our eyes – unlike our past presidents who only cared about themselves and how to best serve their masters. Recto, for instance, should be asked to say that he hasn’t provided confidential information to the US government nor worked for the interest of the US government in exchange for the illusion of special treatment by the US government. the other person(?) mentioned in this article should simply be ignored.

  5. The US piled up a lot of debt protecting other countries from the USSR & Red China in the day (well, in most cases, MAD and a whole lot of costly conventional military hardware actually did the job). OK, so be it. However, I think the rest of the world (including the Philippines) needs to start protecting itself. We have a lot of infrastructure in the US that needs to be fixed or just outright replaced, so what we need to do is close the foreign military bases, bring the troops home, and put those people (and a lot of that money we spend on defense) to work helping ourselves. And if any other nations decide that snuggling up to Russia or China just isn’t working for them, and asks for our help, no problem. Just send us the contents of your national treasury, and we will be there just as soon as we finish our wall.