• Duterte: We’re about to cross the Rubicon with US

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    President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he was about to pass a point of no return in terms of the country’s relationship with the United States, as he would soon open economic alliances with Russia and China.

    Duterte recalled his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summits in Laos in early September.

    “We had a one-on-one meeting and I said, ‘I think I’m about to cross the Rubicon with the United States, at least for the six years [of my term],” Duterte said in a speech before Palace reporters, using the expression that came from Julius Caesar’s decision to cross the Rubicon River in 49 B.C., which irrevocably put him at war against Pompey and the Roman Senate.

    “I will need your help in everything – trade, commerce – and I will open up,” the President added.

    But in a press conference after the event, Duterte clarified his statement, saying that the Philippines didn’t have any plans to junk its alliance with the US.

    “Actually I said I’m ready to, not really break ties, but we will open up alliances with China and Russia,” the President told reporters.

    Asked what “crossing the Rubicon” with the US meant in terms of concrete foreign policy, Duterte said he found it problematic that, despite defense treaties, there were no assurances the US would come to the Philippines’ aid in times of war.

    “There is an RP-US Pact that was in the ‘50s. It says that an attack on the Philippines would be an attack of the United States. But in the United States Constitution, it says that before a President can declare war, with anybody in defense of an ally, he has to go to Congress for permission to go to war. That’s the problem. So if Congress will not give him that authority, what will happen to us?” he said.

    As to opening alliances with China and Russia, Duterte said he was referring to economic alliances, not military alliances.

    The Philippines and the US are treaty allies, having signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951 and a Visiting Forces Agreement in 1998.

    Manila and Washington also signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2014 that allows rotational presence of US troops in designated Philippine military camps.

    The US is also the Philippines’ biggest foreign investor and the country’s second biggest export market, next to Japan.

    But the relationship has been frayed under Duterte, who has bristled at criticism on the rising death toll of his administration’s drug war from the US and other institutions such as the United Nations and the European Union.

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    17 Comments

    1. Alannis Bn Heder on

      @Gary Ward, so what is wrong if being Japanese (or half-Japanese)?

      Pres DU30 should be commended, for he has shown good efforts and honest vision in expanding opportunities for the benefit of the government and its people. The traditional partners (like the Americans) have been with us for a long time, and the Philippines remains as a 3rd world country.

      The President needs our support.

      • Speaking as an American citizen, I believe the U.S. should now withdraw from and renounce the 1951 Agreement and all other defense agreements and commitments with the Phillipines., and I have been contacting my legislative representative on this. Let’s strengthen alliances with real allies such as Japan and Korea. Increase ties and alliances with Thailand,Vietnam etc. Let the dictator Duterte be isolated in the democratic civilized world, and forced to kneel before the russians and chinese! He and the filipinos do not deserve U.S. protection. Let them fend for themselves; the US does not need them at all. Duterte is obviously scum.

    2. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      27 September 2016

      Der Fuhrer Rodrigo Roa Duterte is increasingly building a reputation as one who has a penchant for cursing and cussing–e.g. “Putang ina!,” Putang ina mo!” Putang ina ninyo “–whenever he is piqued, which is quite often, with US ambassador Phiillip Goldberg. Pope Francis, President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the European Union and the European Parliament, as his initial “victims”–he also has that unpresidential habit of shooting his mouth off one way one minute, and then correcting himself the next.

      This Little Tyrant has that dangerous habit, which probably he learned to use unchallenged as Mayor of Davao City for 23 years, which could prove his undoing as President. He may not last the six years that he is entitled to.

      MARIANO PATALINJUG
      patalinjugmar@gmail.com

    3. Six years of no money from the US will cause Filipinos to suffer greatly . Thousands of US soldiers suffered to free The Philippines from Spain and the Japanese plus billions of dollars to keep the Philippines safe . If it wasn’t for the US Duterte might be half Japanese .

    4. Time to ask for F16’s and Missile-firing frigates from the USA…The time is ripe.! Seize the moment!

    5. It’s time for us now to be on ourselves and not looking U.S. government as our Uncle Sam. It’s not bad to be in US side but our country needs to grow up as an independent country. If we always see US as our godfather, our country can be easily black mailed in terms of our economy. What our government leaders should do is to empower Filipinos to be more independent and ready to accept challenges. We have lots brainy people all over the world and that their talents should be used here in our country. But they don’t have enough support from our government. On my part if I was given an opportunity here in our to exploits my talent I would rather stayed here. Here in foreign land you will always encounter discriminations. I even told my kids even though they were born here but still outside they still they look at them as an immigrant because of their skin.. That’s why I told them the only thing to fight discrimination is to study and have a good education. And that’s what they did.

    6. After only 3 months since this bozo got elected President the peso has tanked, investment is drying up, the country is a laughing stock around the world. A bad recession is coming and tourism should soon start drying up. If he does get closer to China and Russia the bad times will only start for the PI islands. If the people are lucky the gov. will impeach the President before things get out of hand. Just look at Venezuela for a preview of the PI 10 years from now…

    7. This president started off saying the right things to get the voters on his side. Now he is saying he will tie in economically with russia & china, i think big mistake. China, the country that disregards the world when it says it is wrong. China has serious financial problems & if they cant solve them the world will suffer. Those with ties to them will suffer first & more. I dont know what the answer is but duerte needs to listen & be able to accept criticism, at the money if you oppose him in any way he will go after you with the full might of government. Just watch the leila de lima scenario pan out. If she hadnt criticised him do you think this attempt to destruct her would have started, if no, why not, if she is guilty & duerte knew it why not say it straight away, why wait until she criticises you

    8. With the way the Phil president is saying his mouth has crossed the Rubicon. The only problem is his administration has not gone across with him. It seems also that his body is still left behind clutching on an Uncle Sam banner. So we have to wait until his body and the administration are joined together in their choice of friends.

      • I am sure the oppositions headed by DE5 and Sen. Trillanes will investigate and analyze all his actions that undermines our economy and our long history of alliance with the US, Japan, South Korea, EU and ANZUS just because this Mayor thinks he is a great leader and voted by 16 M Filipinos of the total 100M population. Whilst he is boasting to everyone everyone that he is fighting drug problem in our country he has to start in his own backyard. This old man is surely egoistic or has narcissistic personality and is a broken record whenever he is engage in interviews or speeches. Imagine he has to resurrect the history 100 years ago about moros being killed in Mindanao and claimed they were massacred!! He also talk about Magellan who started the Christianity. I hope the silent majority will no longer be silent and start a protest before our economy spirals downward and peso rate becomes P50 to a dollar..

    9. Now I’m really convinced that DU30 is really crazy and a narcissists. Does this guy even know that Russia’s economy is in shambles and China’s economy is slowing down or has this guy even seen the reports and pictures of ghost cities in China? This president has lived in the most Southern part of the Philippines and I believe that international news has not even reached his ears. Good luck to all of us, if we pretend that he is the “savior” of the Philippines with all its problem.

      • It’s not as simple as “good luck to all of us”. We all have to action and the first step is to go out in the street and protest against his policies for example extra judicial killing and families of those 3000 that has been killed will be able to show support. Those people who have been named in the drug list of DU30 without proper validation should go out in the street. This is the democratic way and he can be unseated if proven that he has been involved in EJK. We have to investigate those people who are in his cabinet. They too should be punished if found guilty.

      • Still, China is the 2nd biggest economy in the world. Even US economy is slacking and nearing the recession period. They are indebted of billion dollars to China and other parts of the world. In no time, China will supersede US as the sole superpower country and Russia is catching up. The political equation in the world is fast changing that is why US is weary and using the Philippines as pawn to challenge china with its Asian pivot military program but then thanks to our President because he is independent-minded person. We don’t need to be used in the US interest and be dragged in a war that is not ours.

    10. So, do the American a favor and kick them out of the Philippines (however you spell it or say it) forever.

      • Is your statement a yes or a no to the US ? Do you know the implication of the US withdrawal economically in our economy ? We are dependent on the US economically period. We should play our cards well and not always say Yes to the US. Dealing with Russia is really a gamble. Their economy is down being dependent on oil. Oil prices down. china currency is being devalue which is a very bad sign to their economy .