At last, with Duterte, we’re no longer the US lackey in Asia



THE big message that the Philippines has sent to the world during its hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit last week was as historic as can be in terms of our foreign policy: We are no longer the Americans’ lackey in this part of the world, not its proxy in Asean, which the US secretly founded as the Asian equivalent of NATO to counter communist China.

Perhaps this owes much to the fact that President Duterte’s background is unlike most of his predecessors. Unlike Cory Aquino, he does not owe his rise to power and his hold on it (so far) to American political and military might (remember the Phantom jets over Manila to frighten the RAM rebels?). Unlike Fidel Ramos, who was after all Cory’s male clone, he had not a chance to be brainwashed in an American military school.
In the case of Benigno Aquino 3rd, he was happy to relinquish all thinking on foreign policy to the most Americanized, and most pro-American foreign secretary this country ever had, the Indonesian magnate Anthoni Salim’s long-time board director Albert del Rosario.

Russia Today’s front-page coverage of President’s view on the North Korean crisis.

How could Del Rosario not have been pro-American, when other than Salim himself, the biggest stockholders of First Pacific Co., Ltd. – the mother firm of his huge public utility conglomerate in the country—are US fund managers? He was so pro-American that in my conspiracy-theory moments, I suspect he could have been brainwashed using new technology in his six years as Philippine ambassador to the US, that he pushed for the very unwise filing of a case against China in the arbitral court.

In sharp contrast, and surprisingly for somebody who’s spent most of his political life in the frontier city that is Davao, Duterte himself is molding our foreign policy to his more realistic worldview in which the US is not our master, to the consternation even of his first foreign secretary who was a US citizen, and that of our diplomatic corps. Sadly, most of our top foreign affairs officials are so pro-American. Who would blame them when except for the fiercely nationalistic Blas Ople, our foreign policy since our independence simply followed what the US told us to follow?

Only a Duterte could snub the US, and declare to the world that his big foreign policy pivot is towards the People’s Republic of China, that North American empire’s rival in Asia.

Duterte has even drawn the country closer to Russia under Putin. The last time any Philippine President even thought of Russia was in the mid-1970s when Marcos experimented with getting the country out of the claws of the US imperial eagle by pretending to get close to the Americans’ enemies.

Arbitral ruling

It’s just been a year since Aquino and his pro-American Yellow Cult were in paroxysms of joy in getting the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands to rule that China’s historic claims to areas in the South China Sea cannot be in excess of claimant countries’, like the Philippines’, exclusive economic zones set by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

But reality has quickly set in. The arbitral ruling means nothing. No state, no UN force would enforce it, not the US. After all, China and the US don’t even entirely recognize UNCLOS, and how logical is an arbitration in which one of the parties, China, had refused to be arbitrated?

The ruling actually even sets for us a dangerous precedent: What if Vietnam filed a case in the same arbitral court to claim Pag-asa island, our biggest property in the South China Sea which Marcos only claimed in 1974 and asked his troops to occupy—and we lost?

The biggest beneficiary of the arbitral ruling has been the US. It had little justification in having its mighty naval power patrol the South China Sea. Now it does, or claims it does, invoking its self-appointed role as the global policeman to enforce international law. China is now portrayed as an arrogant superpower disregarding international law and militarizing the South China Sea.

Prodded by the US, the past administration’s tack was to invoke the arbitral ruling, and to get Asean to condemn China for not complying with it. To do so didn’t even cross Duterte’s mind in this Asean summit. Rightly so.

Del Rosario had embarrassed the nation when he tried to force the Asean Foreign Ministers’ meeting, in August 2016, just a month after the arbitral ruling came out, to issue a statement against China. When it didn’t, Del Rosario came very close to claiming that the Cambodian host was China’s puppet.

Why should Asean ask China to comply with the ruling when only four out of its 10 members—the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei—have claims to it, and the rest of its six members, especially its poorest members like Laos and Myanmar, are wooing China for investments and aid? There’s a vivid Filipino term for that: Nandadamay.

Malaysia and Brunei don’t even seem to be interested anymore in the dispute in the South China Sea. Malaysia after all is happy that it has transformed its Layang-layang island into a tourism site, and calculates that the rest of the dozen shoals and islets there aren’t worth antagonizing China, its biggest trading partner and foreign investor. Why would tiny Brunei with a population less than a fourth of the city of Manila antagonize a country of one billion people?

Russia Today report

What is an example of the fact that Duterte has forged an independent foreign policy, and that the non-US-lackeys of the world respect us more for this is that the Russian news outfit* reported yesterday that its interview with Duterte was its most popular post. Now why do you think did gave such prominence to the views of a President of a weak country in the region?

RT’s interview with Duterte on the North Korean issue shows him as not one to mimic like a parrot what the Americans say, which del Rosario had done when he was in charge of foreign policy. The RT article:

“Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the White House to be ‘prudent and patient’ in dealing with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, warning that ‘the guy simply wants to end the world.’

“’There seems to be two countries playing with their toys and those toys are not really to entertain,’ Duterte said during a media briefing in Manila on Saturday.

‘You know that they are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of missiles and everything. I would not want to go into his (Kim’s) mind because I really do not know what’s inside but he’s putting mother earth, the planet to an edge,’ he added.

‘The guy (Kim) simply wants to end the world, that is why he is very happy. He is always smiling. But he really wants to finish everything and he wants to drag us all down,’ Duterte said.

[The] Philippines President, famous for his rhetoric and controversial anti-drugs campaign, said that he would try to persuade his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to back down from the conflict.

‘I would say ‘Mr. President, please see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer immensely,’ proposed Duterte, who previously appeared to pivot away from his country’s long-standing alliance with the US in favor of closer ties with China.

‘I will just communicate to him – ‘Just let him play… do not play into his hands,’” he added.

‘I am sure President Trump is cautioning his military to just maybe… not to start something which they cannot control,’ said Duterte.

‘We have to caution everybody, including those who’d give the advice to the two players, because you have nuclear warheads, to just show restraint. One miscalculation of a missile, whether or not a nuclear warhead or an ordinary bomb, one explosion there that would hit somebody would cause a catastrophe’.”

*Note: I had been an avid follower of the Russia Today TV news channel when our former cable news provider, a small one in our Cavite area, carried it, with its coverage having different views and new information from those of the US’ CNN, Fox News, et. al. The cable TV monopoly service I had to shift to does not carry Russia Today. It would be a boon in new information available to Filipinos if government’s TV4 carried Russia Today and China’s Central Television.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao


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  1. De facto Corporate Press stop worshiping the image of the BEAST (Seal of Philippine president) of expired and de facto interim (temporary) Republic of the Philippines Corporation owned by Oligarchs et. al. rendered RES JUDICATA or No Jurisdiction since Supreme Court Judgement Entry 2006, registered in S.E.C. of CORPORATE America ultimately Expired in 2014 after 250 years from 1764 Treaty of Paris, the Principality of God’s Ownership of the Universe. Actual position of de facto pres. Duterte was de facto Mayor of Davao City in 2014.

    Unconstitutional 2016 Elections was financed by expired and de facto CORPORATE with ultimate agenda of biometric ID 666 CORPORATE Slavery using highly illegal de facto Marcos TVM-LSM-666 Account against Filipino people it made as CORPORATE “collateral”instead of as sovereign people for having NO territorial jurisdiction, and are criminal activities.

    Sovereign Heir and Redeemer of Treaty of Paris the Christ Isa (ONE: Father, Son, Holy Spirit / Divine Feminine) prophesied Queen of the South Hrh Salvacion Legaspi Y Espiritu Santo (Divine Femniine) with “one greater than Solomon” Arrives in the ONLY Miracle of Jonah for World Redemption from “evil and adulterous generation” of Dark Cabal (Illuminati / Global Elite / Khazarian Mafia / Banking Cartel) with its minions deceived by its Babylon Mystery Religion.

    Holder of World Territorial Jurisdiction the Mother Title OCT 01-4S of Motherland HACIENDA FILIPINA in the Treaty of Paris is legitimate Divine (Interstellar / Interdimensional Blueprint of God’s Divine Plan) Govt. Kingdom Filipina Hacienda Sovereign Host Nation (Rev. 12:1) of Grandfather Maharlikhan TRIBE (Rev. 7:4).

    Sovereignty originates from God. Align with Divine Plan since time immemorial.

  2. silvino sarga on

    We are Asians, so we must focus on Asia for our trade and security partners. We must learn from our Asian brothers who have sustained to be tiger economies in the global village. Pres. Duterte has more common sense than the Donald, who is dragging the USA behind China.

  3. This is a thinking President who see all views in foreign relations. We agree that Russia and China could better provide the Phils. a fair and honest business deals unlike Uncle Sam. PRRD is on the right track! As evidenced by his restraints on how to deal with the North Korean’s KJU! A true Leader and suddenly I am Proud likewise!

  4. Love this president! Yes to Russia and China news in our cable channels! So many American news are kinda limiting and so one-sided. I support Duterte’s views on our foreign policy.

  5. Sultan Kudarat on

    For the people saying the Philippines is now China’s lackey, have you ever read about ancient prehispanic history of the Philippines? There were many Rajahs, Sultanates, and kingdoms that had trading relations with Chinese dynasties. The Philippines has a large source of ancient Chinese pottery and plates. Even in the Ilocano epic of Lam Ang, Lam Ang talks about how he trades gold with China. The Philippines became about lackey for the Westerners under the colonization of Spain and the USA. We Filipinos weren’t friends with Americans by choice, but by force through our defeat in the Filipino-American war. If the US didn’t invade us, we probably wouldn’t be talking in English but in our proud dialects. Historically, the Chinese came to the Philippines as traders and merchants, not as conquerers like Spain and the US.

    Can we realize and cherish our Asian roots for once?

  6. We have now a President who knows how to show strength in spite our weakness in front of other nation. A President that confronts our own personal issues on drugs, criminality, corruption and poverty. A President that is so passionate when he says, he is not afraid to die just to save the next generation.
    What more can we say, but unite together in order to reverse what has been done by the past administration which inflicted too much damage to the Filipino well being. What President DU30 is doing right now must be right cause majority of Filipinos had never been so optimistic about their future, whether domestic or foreign policy.

  7. Ramil Lopez on

    It is dumb to say that as a result of pivoting away from the US, we became a lackey of China. If we were a lackey of China we would not be able to fish in Scarborough Shoal, we would not get the big Chinese investments and we would not be able to foster deeper relationships with other countries like Russia. Apparently the stupid yellow trolls do not have any idea what an independent foreign policy is. They are probably as dumb as their haciendero masters. Aquino was a US lackey and he lost the whole Philippines to the Americans. American troops could come in anytime and do whatever they wanted during his time, including raping and murdering Filipinos. Aquino bought second hand military helicopters from his American masters at an inflated price and they would not even fly! He bought US rifles that did not pass the quality and reliability test. Now that is a US lackey!

  8. Sir Bobi, regarding del Rosario’s attempt to force the issue on other ministers, did you mean August 2015 and not 2016? Regarding Yasay, I think he fully supports the foreign policy of Duterte as evidenced by his personal posts on his Facebook.

  9. CGTN (Chine Government Television Network) is also a good source of world news and information. By the way, watching it will not make you a puppet of china.

  10. Good job for our President DU30, Philippines now advising USA what to do. Some quarters may branded this government as pro-china or pro-Russia but, as long as, the lives of Filipino people prospered, we are happy. Its much better than living with the oligarch. Its better to watch Russia Today and China’s Central Television than ABS-CBN and Inquirer.

  11. Bernie Reyes on

    The Truth is we have a thinking President, whose 1st & foremost goal is to serve the Filipino people. The wisdom of being friendly with China, has bring about good bilateral relations while at the same time gave back the livelihood of many Filipino fishermen. His strong friendly admiration of Putin & now very good relationship with the Russians has created a lot of respect in the region and the rest of the world and his latest stance on Not to bring in to the ASEAN agenda the South China Sea dispute is admirable of a true leader, putting 1st the goals of the ASEAN & the Philippines for peace and diplomacy while showing to the entire world that we have a President who is a “true leader” and is not in anyway afraid to make decision that is not popular and not aligned or serving US interest. Definitely our “yellow friends” will not like Mr. Duterte’s decisions and will even go out of their way to destroy the current administration. We should all be alert to STOP these yellow hypocrites as they will do anything in their power even if they need to manufacture lies and coerce with same minded people outside the country just to be back in power.

  12. According to Tiglao, our country is not an American lackey in Asia because of Du30. He is right but what are we now, a puppy or tuta of the Communist China. Just one psst from a Chinese ambassador Digong already cowering in the corner. His bravado that I will send troops the the disputed West Philippine sea…… just disappeared in the thin air. Have you seen any leftest demonstrating because we losing our sovereignty in the West China sea?

    • Banyagang Makabayan on

      You just cannot accept really that what Pres. Duterte stated really make sense. Those islands in the Philippines sea could not be moved from where they are and still belong to us at least partly, unlike one of our foreign neighbor way down in the Asia Pacific selling their Visa to rich Chinese for $5 to 15M for permanent residency just to invest and stay in their midst to maintain their economy stay afloat, to the extent of selling their precious farmlands and mining site and it’s operation to big Chinese Capitalists.

  13. Thank you Sir Tiglao for yet another relevant information. How nice to see our President, with the rest of the ASEAN, standing between an aggressor (NoKor) and an uncomfortable subject (USA). Peace na lang. The Middle East is already so much of a rabble, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria. May the Creator of the heavens and the earth spare Asia from physical destruction. May our present day leaders shun another world war.

  14. A pretty good punch of an article, Mr. Tiglao. I would say that your commentaries are the most perceptive, and read, in the Philippine political and social issues. Thank you.

  15. i don’t see how we are starting to become a chinese puppet as posted by trolls and fake accounts here. haha

  16. Indeed, RT news are much better than those being dished out from CNN. I would suggest that you can also watch Aljazheera and read those news coming from RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty as well as People’s Daily of tsaina.

  17. Amnata Pundit on

    Duterte must follow up with his pivot away from Uncle Sam by changing our assault rifles from the American made Armalite to the deadlier AK-47, the most favored assault rifle in the world. All our weapons purchases must be made from Russia as they are cheaper and more reliable. Besides, the Americans tend to politicize everything, which means American made weapons are subject to sanctions – we cannot get spare parts or technical support because of human rights issues for example – while the Russians are not known to sanction their clients. The kano are also unreliable allies as they demonstrated when they refused to help us while we were waging war against the MNLF in the 70s. We should also have EDCA and VFA agreements with Russia and China as this will checkmate the Americans even before any shooting starts, which will minimize considerably the prospect of war actually breaking out at least in this part of the world. We should also ask them to help us hunt down the Abu Sayaf and the NPAs, two rebel groups that I suspect are being supported by the Americans. Only by acting as a player in our own country instead of the one being played can we say that we truly are not anybody’s lackey here in Asia.

  18. I couldn’t agree more with this aricle.
    On Del Rosario being a US puppet: even the way he talks tries very hard to mimic his beloved puppeteer.

  19. If Duterte was smart, he would remain neutral and concentrate only on trade and foreign investments. He is way over his head in dealing with Putin and China at the same time. Putin is a thug, no honor, no trustworthiness and is a cold blooded killer. The worst of the worst. China will rule the Philippines if Duterte is careless. He already g
    ave away territory to China by not showing any diplomacy skills.

    • Duterte did not give away any kind of trust to china, but take any opportunity of having a piece of their prosperity by taking offer in terms of investment that benefit our country.

      Playing very tough with china doesn’t make sense considering the military capabilities and very high technology they have is a way far from our military and technology the Philippine have.

    • Bobby Dizon on

      PRRD is our Preisdent and I couldn’t agree more with RTiglao. Kuoos to my Mayor for doing diplomacy at its best in time of uncertainty. He may not know statesmanship but what he is doing is more than that. I just hope and pray that he be given the support he needed for the region to prosper and our beloved Pilipinas and its inhabitants to live in peace accordingly.

    • If indeed you are correct that Duterte gave away part of our country, are you saying we are getting more during penoy’s time out of these issue or are we getting more today because Duterte managed to have talks and investments from China?

    • So? Isn’t PTV4 also government funded? Isn’t BBC also government funded? Fox is funded by Republican money so you can hear that all commentaries are more against The Donald. Ditto with CNN whose people are more Democrats. But whoever the owners of these outfits are, I believe that their journalists are always true to their profession and do not necessarily parrot the ideas of their owners – except most in Philippine media.

  20. You’re right, the Philippines is no longer the lackey of the US. It’s now China’s lackey/ lap-dog.

  21. Salamat, Mr. Tiglao! Klaro na gayod that our President is listened to…not a parrot of anyone! He will earn the ire of the “lackeys…with personal interest and motives” but then in the end…it is our country’s interest and well-being that will emerge and come out victorious! Thank you again!

  22. Thank you, Mr. Tiglao, you are always spot on to what you write. I hope one you will go into politics and help our country to succeed.

  23. Daniel Ali on

    With Duterte, Philippines is not America’s lackey anymore, but China’s.

    • You call someone a china’s puppet/lackey for trying to avert nuclear world war? wow. People really do want to see the world end. And by the looks of it maybe we do deserve it.

  24. Flavio Cortes on

    you are right. the philippines is no longer US lackey in asia…..just china’s subservient puppy!

  25. ‘But reality has quickly set in. The arbitral ruling means nothing. No state, no UN force would enforce it, not the US. After all, China and the US don’t even entirely recognize UNCLOS, and how logical is an arbitration in which one of the parties, China, had refused to be arbitrated?” …. Rigoberto Tiglao

    I like what you have stated, Sir. It just opened my mind that we have sent so much money for nothing for that arbitration. How the US will not spill a drop of blood for us even there is a treaty or a promise to protect us from an invading force. And how useless UN is for us. It is now clearer that UN can only manage small and weak countries but not the superpowers. So any confrontations against China, USA, Russia, France, and UK are to be avoided. UN should be scrapped along with its Human Rights section. UN is inutile.

  26. charles river on

    Yes, Ph is no longer America’s lackey but it still is a lackey- of China this time. Our political leaders, past and present, are nothing but pimps. What makes you think Duterte, with Php 2.2B worth of bank transactions, is unlike any other Ph politician? And what is the consequence of being China’s lackey? Let me cite just one: We are about to lose 80% of our exclusive economic zone.

    • Cyrus Fernandez on

      Boss mawalang galang na, napatunayan na ba ni trillanes yung sinasabi niyang 2 billion sa vank account ni Pres. Duterte? Puro press release lang diba? Walang maipakitang ebidensya kasi wala naman talaga.

    • arnel amador on

      you must be a fan of inquirer and abs cbn….of course trillanes. by the way, please ask trillanes of what he did in china in 2012, which resulted to the total loss of scarborough to china. that travel, back and forth, is not for tourism. he has that order from pnoy. it appears it was classic traitors at work. it seems people forgot…

    • charles river on

      Trillanes has very detailed records of Duterte’s bank transactions. Unfortunately, Duterte can not be forced to disclose his bank transaction records for comparison with Trillanes’ since he is hiding behind the protection given by the bank secrecy law. He is still refusing to waive this protection up to now. Duterte also has immunity from suit during his term.

    • lol excuses from an anti-admin person. same with the others (fyi and james and accounts)
      lets keep it simple no bank secrecy waive waive technicality bullcrap. if it is true then why just all the bickering now if trillanes knew the pres will be immune for suit? stupid move? he should have done this while he was still mayor or before the elections right?

      is eez part of our territory? btw only eight of the spratly’s islands are under china’s control, while 29 are vietnam’s. should we fight vietnam too? malaysia also have claims.
      you antis are just focusing on the pres’ supposed submission to a specific country when this, in fact, is a multi-national issue.

      you anti-admin accounts are getting more pathetic and downright laughable each day lol

    • Mga_imbento on

      Duterte is the most favorite PET of CHINA today, he is like a “shooting star”, “a hope” and “a dream come true” in their goal to dominate whole Asia or even half of the Pacific. Mas Ok daw ka business ang CHINA kaysa sa US kasi sa China bibigyan bansa natin ng pera para umunlad at bibigyan naman nya ng LAGAY mga taong susunod sa kanila. After duterte’s term he will be the richest man here, 2nd nalang si Henry Sy.