How exactly is DU30 standing up to Washington?

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FRANCISCO S. TATAD

FRANCISCO S. TATAD

Given the current state of confusion and chaos, President Rodrigo Duterte could be doing himself and everybody else a favor if he cleared up some basic points concerning his war on drugs and his announced policy shift toward Beijing and Moscow, away from Washington. This is the least Filipinos deserve.

Does he really believe that to criticize the drug killings is to take the side of the drug lords, and that no foreign government or institution, not even the UN, may criticize the killings, which have now risen to 3,000, unless they are prepared for his invectives?

What exactly does he mean when he says he has decided to drift closer toward China and Russia and away from the US, the country’s strongest military ally, its biggest foreign investor, and its second largest export market after Japan?

PH a sovereign state


A State Department spokesman has pointed out that as an independent and sovereign country, the Philippines is free to develop close ties with any country without offending any other country. Does DU30 believe that political or economic closeness with either China or Russia means political or economic estrangement from the US?

Does he believe that China and Russia on the one hand and the US on the other would want to revive the Cold War, which ended in 1991 after the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, just to oblige the Filipino strongman?

These are some of the points that need to be clarified, as the fallout from the drug killings threatens the Philippines with adverse economic consequences, which DU30 seems ready to attribute to the “Americans undermining” the country’s economy.

The peso has fallen to a seven year-low, Philippine stocks continue to bleed on foreign selling, and the economy’s global competitiveness has dropped by 10 points from last year’s index, according to the World Economic Forum. All these DU30 seem to blame not on himself, who has provoked the reaction, but on those merely reacting to the stimulus.

Enrile’s view on the US

On my Destiny Cable TV program on Sunday/Monday, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile maintained that the US is the most powerful military, economic and technological power in the world, and will remain so for yet a long time.

In terms of oil supply alone, it has become the biggest oil producer, much bigger than Saudi Arabia or any other country, he said, because of its undisputed technological lead. While China plans to mine the back of the moon for helium-three, the fuel of the future, America is producing its oil from shale. Enrile said America does not need the Philippines or any other country in the world; it is the Philippines and other countries that need the US.

This, however, is just one view. Another view suggests doomsday not only for the American, but for the European economies as well. Some monetary experts are predicting that the US dollar could soon cease to be the main currency for international trade, replaced by a domestic dollar, which will be instantly devalued by one-third, as the countries of the world shift to gold and silver, and as America’s $555-trillion derivatives bubble bursts, the too-big-to-fail banks collapse, and the US as a whole is forced to join the Third World.

Two scenarios

Under the first scenario, the US will be in a position to “screw” us up anytime it wants to, to borrow DU30’s homegrown cliche. Except that, there is as yet no sign that it had to unleash George Soros to attack the peso. Under the doomsday scenario, the US, because of its own problems, will be in no position to plant a virus into the Philippine economy.

What appears more obvious then is that receding investor confidence in the DU30 regime’s ability to follow the rule of law has set off all these negative developments. These have inspired US Senator Patrick Leahy to ask the US Senate to reconsider regular assistance to the Philippines until it is able to improve its human rights and rule-of-law record.

At the same time, a spokesman at the US Embassy in Manila has revealed it might divert elsewhere a $6.7 million law enforcement aid to the DU30 government on the same ground.

The amounts involved may not appear significant to a government that intends to spend at least P25 trillion on its programs in the next six years, assuming it has the absorptive capacity. This would be bigger than any previous government’s budget, in fact bigger than the budget of all previous governments combined. But the political impact could be incalculable. It could look like the first step toward imposing economic sanctions on a rogue regime like North Korea.

What does it all mean?
Many are proud of DU30 for “standing up” to the US, which NDF chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni describes as “the exploiter and oppressor of the Filipino people.” But what does this mean? How precisely is DU30 standing up to the US? By renouncing the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement, or the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement? That has not happened.

By turning back a nuclear powered warship or an Ohio class nuclear submarine inside Philippine waters because of the nuclear weapons-free provision of the Constitution? Neither has that happened.

By prohibiting the US, Australian and Japanese navies from jointly patrolling the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone? Only the Philippine mosquito fleet has withdrawn from that joint patrol, the allies have remained.

By expelling US troops from Mindanao? DU30 has threatened to do that, but he was quickly overruled by his own Secretary of National Defense, who said the US troops will stay in Mindanao.

By prohibiting joint military exercises between the US military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines? Neither; one of the biggest joint military exercises is taking place in Luzon right now, although DU30 says, “this will be the last one.”

By declaring that he will work for the repeal of the Reproductive Health Law, which B.S. Aquino had rammed through Congress at the behest of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in violation of the pro-life provisions of the Constitution? Not only will this law remain undisturbed; the DU30 regime intends to make population control a pillar of its program to eliminate the “useless eaters” in society by limiting the number of children to three per married couple.

Or by declaring that he will prohibit all foreign non-religious agencies from undertaking programs related to the family and the poor without the knowledge and consent of the government? Neither.

In what way then is DU30 standing up to the US on an issue invested with its national interest?

What are they quarreling about?
Simply by calling President Barack Obama “the son of a whore” and denying later that he had in fact cursed him? How does that lapse in good manners qualify for standing up to Washington? What US national interest or policy issue did he stand up against? What exactly are he and Obama quarreling about?

Is there a maritime territorial dispute between the US and the Philippines, in which the Permanent Court of Arbitration had ruled in favor of the US, but which DU30 has refused to recognize? That would be one example of standing up to the US.

Has DU30 fortified any maritime features in the Spratlys, which are claimed by the US, and has he rejected any and all demands to terminate his fortification and to vacate the premises? That would be another way of standing up to the US.

As it turns out, there was no actual encounter between DU30 and Obama, except for a casual handshake. Obama had wanted to talk to him about the human rights situation in the Philippines, but when DU30 cursed him, Obama canceled the proposed meeting on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Vientiane.

If cursing Obama was all that was needed to qualify for standing up to the US, what does cursing the Pope and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, or flashing “the middle finger” at the European Union qualify him for?

Would the NDF chief negotiator be ready to cite him for standing up to God and his Church just as the father of all lies stood up to God by declaring, “I will not serve?”

Now, when DU30 says he wants to move closer to China and Russia and away from the US, what is he prepared to give to the two countries and take away from the third? DU30 seems to have the impression that prior to June 30 this year, we had no working relations with China and Russia, and that his arrival alone will open a new path.

Ties with China and Russia long set
This is contrary to the facts. We already had excellent working relations with both countries. In 1975, Marcos normalized diplomatic relations with China by adopting the One-China policy; in 1976, he established relations with the USSR—still during the Cold War. I was part of the official delegation to the two countries.

Despite our maritime territorial dispute with China, which became the subject of a war of words between the Aquino administration and its Beijing counterpart, we have long had a robust relationship marked by, among other things, our recent membership in the newly organized Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), and our active interest in China’s One Belt, One Road project that hopes to link the various continents of the world by fast trains, ships and planes.

With respect to Moscow, our strong friendly relations had long preceded the breakup of the Soviet Union and been marked by cultural exchanges that included the visits of the Bolshoi Ballet with Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plesitskaya, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the poet Yvgeny Yevtushenko, several famous Russian conductors and pianists, chess international grandmasters and other artists.

More recently, in their fight against the demographic winter that has cost Russia a loss of 250,000 people every year from ageing and greying, Russian pro-life and pro-family workers have linked up with the rest of the world to energize their program. In the last few years, I have been invited thrice to Moscow—first to speak at the World Demographic Congress, second to launch the Russia Parents’ Association, and third to help keynote the Congress on Large Families as the Key to the Future at the Kremlin. And I did not have to denounce the US or my Catholic faith.

What we are hearing on DU30’s foreign policy, I am afraid, is pure bunk.

fstatad@gmail.com

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27 Comments

  1. vagoneto rieles on

    Going by what he said upon his arrival from Vietnam, President Duterte is doubling down on solving the drug problem, from, or even just, at the bottom end…by eliminating the street pushers and the addicts. To most observers, this is not just a gruesome waste of life…it is also the wrong way to free the country of illegal drugs. This observation notwithstanding, his method might gain acceptability if it were coupled with efforts at ‘eradication’ from the top…the supply end. To be fair, discoveries of ‘shabu laboratories’ and large stashes of shabu and other illegal drugs, have been made. But; no big-time ‘drug lord’, or shabu manufacturer and importer have been apprehended…much less eliminated. Given how immeasurably lucrative this trade is, the ‘masterminds’ will simply erect new plants and build bigger stockpiles. One doesn’t have to be an Admiral to know that in a sinking ship, plugging all the leaks is just as important as bailing the water out from the ship.
    I’m sure that the President and his man ‘Bato’, know this. Why it hasn’t been done is a puzzle. Eliminating a few dozen ‘lords’ couldn’t be more unpalatable than neutralizing thousands of ‘street pushers and addicts’. Could it?

  2. Let’s wait and see next year. If economy goes really bad then this guy should be ask to resign or a coup will have to be done with a revolutionary gov.

    • Duterte is already blaming the US for the peso dropping against the dollar,

      President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has accused the United States of “undermining” the Philippine economy, as its currency peso dropped to a seven-year low against the US dollar this week.

  3. I salute you Sec Tatad. It looks like NOBODY from the House and Senate and politicians have the nerve and balls to contradict this STUPID president Duterte. They are all afraid because Duterte will disclose the ill-gotten wealth that they have accumulated. Only you, Delima and Trillanes have the courage to go against this lunatic president. I am in doubt how did this president pass law school. He does not even know what he’s talking. He totally lacks the knowledge of EVERYTHING. His head is totally with air that he thinks he can say anything to the international leaders. Where are the Chinese drug lords like Peter Lim? Did he ordered them killed? NO because Duterte can only kill the poor Filipinos who cannot afford to defend themselves. Duterte is for the GOD DAMN Chinese drug lords and law violators. Let us all pray together to save the Philippines from this EVIL president.

  4. A change in the policy direction by one man but not by the people means trouble is coming to Filipinos.

  5. Yonkers, New York
    30 September 2016

    I am surprised that former Senator Francisco S. Tatad, now writing a column for The Manila Times, here sounds like a paid APOLOGIST of Der Fuhrer Rodrigo Duterte, making light or virtually nothing of Duterte’s clear moves away from longtime ally America and into the arms of COMMUNIST China, Russia and Vietnam.

    When Duterte savages President Obama as a “Putang ina mo!” [“son of a whore”] for questioning his GENOCIDAL WARRANTLESS EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING of those he and his “Berdugo” PNP chief General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa suspect of being involved one way or the other in the illegal drug problem, by extension he savages the United States of America, the premiere “democratic” country in the world.

    When he announces in a fit of pique to the whole world that he will kick US forces out of Mindanao,he is exposing his dislike or contempt, and maybe even hostility, toward the United States.

    When clearly to spite the United States he declares to the whole world that henceforth he will be buying weapons from China and Russia, at the same time he is exposing his desire or intention to make friends or allies of both COMMUNIST China and Russia and thus to “UNFRIEND” the United States.

    Just the other day he went on a state visit to Vietnam, another COMMUNIST country. There he was given the lavish treatment which the President of a country which Vietnam must consider ready to embrace COMMUNISM fully deserves.

    Der Fuhrer Duterte and Chinese President XI JINPING are now known the world over as dear mutual friends, one rhapsodizing the other as “a great president.” Expect Der Fuhrer Duterte to go on a state visit to Beijing soon, on the invitation of his bosom friend XI JINPING.

    Does anybody expect the US president–whoever he or she is–to invite Little Tyrant Duterte to come on a State Visit to the United States in the next six years? You must know the answer to that one.

    There is a very good chance that sooner rather than later the Philippines will find itself safely in the camp of China, Russia and Vietnam as another COMMUNIST state–thanks to Little Tyrant Duterte who is driven insanely by his animosity if not hatred for the United States.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  6. How exactly is DU30 standing up to Washington?
    ————————————-
    A better question would be Why is DU30 making up accusations against the US ?

    RESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has plans to execute him.

    This was revealed in a speech delivered before the Filipino community in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday evening.

    “That’s the situation. They say, the CIA is planning to kill me,” Duterte said.
    —————————–

  7. Mr. Tatad, you should have been PDU30 Foreign Policy Adviser, and should have prevented him from stepping his small dick over and over again. It seems like he has the tendency to get out of line when it comes to foreign policy. It is absolutely true that U.S. doesn’t need Philippines when there is an economic downturn or major disaster in the U.S. Politicians in Washington, DC are shaking their heads when the topic or conversation is about the Philippine President, and they would be saying this knucklehead or how could this President be so stupid? Lastly, because of PDU30 arrogance and stupidity, he is giving a bad image to the Filipinos living abroad, I mean Pinoys living in western civilized countries.

  8. Adriano Solomon on

    There are many contradictions in Mr. Duterte’s statements vis-a-vis his actions. He said that he will kill Peter Lim, the country’s alleged biggest drug lord and his kumpadre, but he instead whisked Lim out of the country to be forgotten by Duterte but not by keen observers of his “war on drugs”.

    Indeed, all Chinese and Chinese-Filipinos have been given by Mr. Duterte all kinds of due processes and rights but brown Filipinos are instantly being killed on mere suspicion. He says he is anti-oligarch but he constantly attends ribbon-cutting ceremonies of projects of oligarchs like ports, power plants, etc. He does not even try to do something about the most over-priced electricity, water, toll fees, gasoline, diesel, LPG, kerosene, hospital fees, medicines, etc. in the world which can only be found and experienced in the Philippines.

    He says he is anti-yellow but he kept real quiet while Bongbong was being cheated and did not castigate and does not castigate the Comelec and the Smartmatic. He even appointed Leni to a very high position in his government. He says he does not have to observe nor respect the rule of law but makes it a point to “respect” the Supreme Court as far as the burial of FM in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is concerned. In short, he will leave it up to the yellow Supreme Court to decide whether FM should be buried there or not. He says that he is pro-poor but he wants to impose the regressive and contra-progressive 15% VAT on the poor, he wants to eliminate all protection to our rice farmers to the benefit of U.S. and other foreign farmers. His traffic emergency bill wants to pratically privatize all traffic via the hated PPP of oligarchs. He says he is anti-yellow and anti-oligarch but he kills only the poor and protects the oligarchs and yellows like Noynoy, Dinky Soliman, Butch Abad, Abaya, and other yellows by not even filing any case against them and by continuing the much-hated PPP or Pera Pera Pera as pundits from the masses would call it.

    He says he is anti-U.S. but he is pushing the U.S.-U.K.-Malaysia agenda of federalism to balkanize the Philippines despite of the very clear fact that Filipinos do not clamor for nor support this federalism which is actuallly “reverse federalism” because it makes an already one country into several “states” instead of making one country, several already pre-existing states. He says he is anti-West but he continues to support the holding of “peace talks” in Malaysia which is a puppet of the U.K. and U.S. in which these three foreign countries have connived to steal Sabah from the Filipino people. And now, there are talks that the BBL being pushed by the U.S. and its allies will be fast-tracked into law which will create an Islamic (Moro) State (Bangsa) in Asia. As we all know, it the U.S. and its allies that are fond of creating Islamic States all over the world to be used against genuine independent states that refuse to be puppets of the West. Mr. Duterte is indeed a yellow and a U.S.-U.K.-Malaysia-Japan puppet despite all his rhetorics to the contrary. His mouth must not be watched nor listened to but his loud actions – for after all, actions speak louder than words.

  9. No matter what praises we give to US as our allies ever since yet nothing came out for this country (Philippines) in terms of economic sustainability when compared to our Asian neighbors. What then do we expect from Russia and China when US being our long time friend and ally had just limited its assistance to the Philippines that be military hardwares what it could only boast of is a billion of dollar remittances coming from Filipino relatives working and living in USA. So, we do no exactly know yet what is to come with the DU30 government, now that US is not even sure what to do with DU30. After US Presidential election whoever wins Hilary Clinton or Trump, we’ll just wait and see, because there be again a shift of administration foreign policy by US if the White House is taken by either Democrat or Repuclicans.

    • That’s what happens when the Philippines has a government full of thieves.
      They stole the billions from the Pork barrel fund, Only 3 senators charged out of 20 that got kickbacks from Napoles. A hundred rep’s gave billions to Napoles.

      They stole the DAP fund 140 billion.
      They stole the Yolanda fund
      The stole the LTO MRT funds
      They spend funds on ghost projects that did not exist for kickbacks
      Bought military equipment that they can’t even get parts for anymore.

      They scammed the budget in hundreds of different ways to enrich themselves

      And none of them charged

      It’s not the US people should be blaming for the poor state of the Philippines rather your own elected officials and the families that own the country.

    • Japan and South Korea are both closer to the US than The Philippines and are thriving. Perhaps the cause lies with The Philippines rather than the US?

  10. This is the time that the Filipinos dreaded to happen, when the head of state sold us out to the communist powers. The Filipino people should be courageous enough to tell Du30 that his foreign policy does not reflect their will. Let democracy prevail.

  11. Thank you, Mr Tatad. You have eloquently expressed here what I and millions of Pinoys locally and worldwide can only ponder and shake our heads over. Keep it up, sir.

  12. jose b taganahan on

    Duterte, like his acting DFA Secretary, has no inkling about foreign policy.

    The more advance Japanese and the South Koreans who are certainly more nationalistic than Filipinos, allow the stationing of American Forces in their country and are even spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help defray the expenses of the American Forces stationed n their respective countries. On the other hand the Philippines, a third world country, receives US grants in tens of millions of dollars for allowing the US to station a few of its forces in the Philippines for a period of time but without a single permanent military base.That is a fact.

    • Southt Korea: North Korea and its nuclear bombs and the war between the 2 Koreas are still ongoing from the 50s.

      Japan: Still under the USA conditions after WWII, no agressive japan military only defensive.

      Philippines: Receiving little carrots. Mostly stick on USA stick and carrot system of dominance. There are more Amboys to do USA biddings.

    • @MXN2

      In 2015 Japan’s Upper House of Parliament passed security measures that ease some restrictions placed upon the military by the country’s post-World War II pacifist constitution.

      On the heels of new security legislation allowing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to engage in armed conflicts overseas for the first time since the end of World War II.

      China and other countries in Asia that suffered under Japanese occupation during World War II have raised concerns that the measures signal Tokyo’s intent to again become a military power.

  13. This guy is plain and simple a trouble maker and. A bully. He does not know anything pertaining to economics which Ex Pres. Arroyo expertise , an economic fiscalizer which Ex Pres Aquino line. That is the reason for the steady economic increase in this country. It only needs one jerk to destroy 10 years of work made by previous Presidents.

    • “an economic fiscalizer which Ex Pres Aquino line.”

      HA!!!AQUINO AN ECONOMIC FISCALIZER!!! your a great example of yellowish brained washed brain…aquino did not introduce anything new concept in terms of economic policy, he just simply continued the economic policy of arroyo..then you will claim that his brains has economic ideas…pwede ba magpakamatay ka na lang…ZOMBIE ka na e..magkalat ka pa ng virus…

    • economic fiscalizer? aquino? he is the one jerk who rode on the coat tails of GMA’s economic knowhow applied over her 10 year term. the only thing he accomplished was the ATTEMPT to steal credit for the steady economy during his term. he ATTEMPTED to steal the credit but he failed to convince anyone but the most gullible foolish yellow loyalists.

    • Aquino was elected due to huge amount of uneducated voters along with Comelec and Smartmatic.

      In the Philippines it is not the amount of votes, but the counting of votes that wins elections.

      If you have ignorant citizens, You’re going to get ignorant leaders.

  14. Mr. Tatad you are so right! DU30 has been living under a rock (called Mindanao) for the longest time and does not I think even read any newspaper when he was there. All he wants to see is his name on the newspaper headline and that’s it, never even bother to flip the pages to read the news around the country and around the world. He is like a Gofer he pops his head once in a while to see what’s out there and if it did not see anything that means everything thing is the same nothing to see.

  15. You are right Mr. Tatad: “pure bunk.” All his words are all but hot air, all play of insignificant words. The way I look at our highly respected president on his dealing with both local and international exposure in the media seem to be closer to a child playing a hide and seek game. Whenever our beloved President DU30 is caught on the spot by media interviewer over his controversial human right records on extrajudicial killings platform of governance on illegal drug issue, he would try to deviate his direction to China or Russia to hide him as his supposed allies; however, when he thinks he is not supposed to hide by thoughts and imagination in China, he would seek by thoughts and imagination to USA for help against China. Is he not playing us a hide and seek on a long Sea line of Philippine Seashore? Where can we find him to promote our core interest over West Philippine Sea is Sea of the Philippines?