PH to keep US diplomatic ties

    READ MY LIPS President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he speaks at the Davao International Airport after arriving from state visits to Brunei and China on October 22. Duterte said he would not sever his nation’s alliance with the United States. AFP PHOTO BY MANMAN DEJETO

    READ MY LIPS President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he speaks at the Davao International Airport after arriving from state visits to Brunei and China on October 22. Duterte said he would not sever his nation’s alliance with the United States. AFP PHOTO BY MANMAN DEJETO

    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday clarified he would not sever the Philippines’ ties with the United States, following an announcement in China that he planned to “separate” from Washington in economic and military terms.

    In a news conference in Davao City after his arrival from a state visit to China, Duterte said his declaration of a separation from the US was about pursuing a more independent foreign policy.

    “You have to take my words in the context of what I have been saying all along. It’s not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that,” Duterte told reporters.

    He said cutting diplomatic ties with the US would not be according “to the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship.”

    “Why? Because there are many Filipinos in the United States,” the President added.

    Before Chinese businessmen in Beijing on Thursday, Duterte announced a “separation” from the US in military and economic aspects, in favor of China and Russia.

    However the President explained early on Saturday that this “separation” only meant charting “another way” in terms of foreign policy.

    “Separation of my foreign policy, that it need not dovetail [with]the foreign policy of America. That’s what I meant actually … Sever means to cut. Separate is just to chart another way of doing it,” he said.

    “In the past and until I became President, we always follow what the United States [wants]… We follow. Pasunod-sunod tayo. Hindi ako magsunod [We always followed. I won’t follow],” Duterte added.

    No plans to visit US
    The President indicated that he had no plans to visit the US.

    Asked if American companies like business process outsourcing companies should worry about the economic aspect of the “separation,” the President said: “I worry that they would not get out of this country, that you have to force them. That is my worry.”

    On whether or not his “separation” would affect defense agreements with the US like the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, Duterte said, “Maybe.”

    “But I would have to consult the military, the police and everybody because at the end of the day, it is all security,” he said.

    Asked about his hopes to form stronger ties with China and Russia, Duterte said these could take the form of a “military alliance” or an “economic bloc.”

    Turning point
    The visit to China, he said, was “a turning point in our shared history.” The President boasted of the financing and business deals forged during his visit to China, valued at $24 billion.

    “My state visit to China signalled a turning point in our shared history and showed that both countries are fully capable of working together for mutual beneficial cooperation even as we remain committed to settle disputes peacefully, in full adherence of international law,” the President said in his arrival speech.

    Beijing and Manila agreed to resume bilateral talks on their West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute, both sides said Friday, insisting that contentious issues were “not the sum total” of their relationship.

    Deeper explanation
    The US, meanwhile, will leave to its top diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, the clarification on President Duterte’s declaration of separation.

    Russel, the assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, arrived in Manila Saturday. He will stay in the country until October 25 for talks with his counterparts, among other activities.

    State department spokesman John Kirby said a “deeper explanation” was needed after Duterte said his “separation” comment in Beijing did not mean cutting diplomatic ties with the US.

    “I’ll let President Duterte speak for his comments. As I said yesterday (Friday), when we heard what he initially said in Beijing, it was confusing and we would be interested in hearing a deeper explanation of what it meant. Now he’s said what he said today (Saturday) and we’ll see where the conversations go [with Assistant Secretary Russel],” Toner said in a news briefing in Washington.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing respects Duterte’s foreign policy tack.

    “We believe that he will make independent foreign policies and choices with the interests of his country and the people in mind,” she said in a news briefing in Beijing on Friday.

    She said, however, that no country should hold a “cold-war or zero-sum mentality.”


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    1. P.Du30 should be more consistent and lucid in his pronouncements so that he will not be misunderstood. He says one thing, only to say that he did not mean it that way.

    2. Duterte need to explain what does he meant by, China, Russia and the Philippines against the world, that’s the only way.

    3. Richard Caroll on

      The end of the Special Relationship between the United States and the Philippines

      Since the national presidential election of Rodrigo Duterte, the political tensions between the United States and the Philippines have sharply increased. The US condemnation of President Duterte’s campaign to use death squads to hunt down and kill drug addicts and those who sell drugs, has led to public scoldings of the US by President Duterte, with the Philippine president calling President Obama a “Son of a Whore”. This outburst led to a cancellation of a meeting scheduled for the 2 leaders and a semi-apology from the Filipino president. However, President Duterte while in China again called President Obama by this slur. This has angered the American people.
      President Duterte, on 9/26/16 ordered all US military personnel off the southern island of Mindanao. While making this order public, President Duterte said “For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace”. President Duterte said that the US Special Forces worsens the situation and only makes them targets.
      President Duterte has also begun courting Chinese and Russian financial investment into the Philippines, and signals President Duterte’s intention to decrease the Philippine’s dependence on the US in both financial and military affairs. This appears to be the direct result of the criticism President Duterte has faced since he began his campaign against drugs and the indiscriminate murder of drug addicts, and those who sell drugs. It is worth noting here that President Duertre has an approval rate of over 90% of the Filipino people and that the great majority of the Filipino people approve of President Duertre’s campaign of hunting down, and killing those addicted to drugs. Much as the German people under Adolf Hitler approved of the persecution of the Jewish people during the Nazi’s reign of terror.
      The question needs to be asked, after the Filipino death squads have finished their bloody business, who will they target next?

      The End of the US and Philippine Special Relationship

      There are no eternal friends, nor eternal friends, there is only internal self-interest, and it is clear, that President Duertre, and by extension the Filipino people, believe that the national interest of the Philippines lie with China, and not with the US (and by extension the Filipino people with their overwhelming support of President Duertre, believe the US is a waning power, and that their economic and political future belong with China).
      The Philippines is a sovereign state, and may of right under international law, conduct its foreign policy in the manner that they deem best for their own economic benefit and national security.
      This author has already published an article in “The National Interest” that argues that China is on the brink of a massive economic crisis, and does not have the funds to invest in the Philippines due to the inability of China to achieve “Steady State Growth”. While China may use the Philippines for its own economic benefit, the Philippines is highly unlikely to achieve any meaningful economic benefit from aligning itself with the People’s Republic of China.
      Indeed, with China’s seizure of the Philippine “Exclusive Economic Zone” in the South China Sea, the current foreign policy of the Philippines is more reminiscent of the attempt of the Western Powers prior to WW2 in appeasing Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

      The Purpose of this Paper

      This article will examine the current political and strategic interests of both countries, and the political ramifications for both countries should the Philippines ask the US to remove its military forces from the Philippines, and the ending of the “Special Relationship” between the US and the Philippines.
      A short review of the political and military history between the US and the Philippines would seem to be in order first.

      The Colonial Period between the United States and the Philippines
      The political destinies between the United States and the Philippines began on May 1, 1898 with the naval battle between the US Navy and the Spanish Imperial Fleet in Manilla Bay. By the end of the day, the Spanish fleet had been shattered, and the United States controlled the waters around the Philippines.
      Prior to the naval battle of 1898, the US had reached out to Emilio Aguinaldo, who had led a rebellion against the Spanish, and was in self-exile in Hong Kong. Admiral Dewey had arranged for Aguinaldo to be transported back to the Philippines aboard a US cutter, and by the time of the Battle of Manilla Bay, Aguinaldo had formed an army, and his forces had surrounded Manilla. Aguinaldo did not enter Manilla at the express request of the Americans however.
      In December of 1898, the United States and Spain announced the Treaty of Paris, which included Spain ceding the Philippines to the United States for monetary considerations.
      There was a spirited debate in the United States over the annexation of the Philippines, and while the main reason that they were annexed was to exploit the Philippines economically, it must be noted here that had the US not annexed the Philippines, one of the other great powers, Germany or Imperial Japan would have annexed them. The Philippines would not have had the resources to resist either power.
      Two days prior to the US Senate voting to ratify the Treaty of Paris between the US and Spain, Aguinaldo raised the banner of rebellion against the Treaty, and the US – Philippine war had begun. “The ensuing Philippine-American War lasted three years and resulted in the death of over 4,200 American and over 20,000 Filipino combatants. As many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease”.

      With the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo in March of 1901, the Filipino insurrection was dealt a serious blow, particularly after he swore an oath to accept US governance of the Philippines. The insurrection was officially over with the adoption of the Philippine Organic Act, which among other consequences allowed for a democratically elected legislature and brought the people of the Philippines under the protection of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Rights which the people of the Philippines had never had before.
      In 1934, the US passed the Philippine Independence Act, which guaranteed the people of the Philippines their political freedom in 1946.
      President Quezon asked President Roosevelt to grant Philippine independence in early 1942 so he could proclaim Philippine neutrality, which he believed (Quezon) would lead to Japanese forces leaving the Philippines. Roosevelt refused, but did authorize his US commander Douglas MacArthur to allow the surrender of Filipino troops.
      In 1946, The Philippines became an independent country, and the US has respected their political sovereignty ever since. In 1991, the Philippine Senate ordered the US to close out its naval base at Subic Bay.
      It had been assumed that the base was to be reauthorized, but the Philippine Senate rejected the treaty in September after an impassioned debate in which the American military presence was assailed as a vestige of colonialism and an affront to Philippine sovereignty.
      On November 24, 1992, the US formally handed over Subic Bay to the Philippine government, and withdrew its military forces from the Philippines.

      Trade Data

      From 2006 to August 2016, the United States ran a trade deficit with the Philippines of $15 billion. The average annual benefit to the Philippines was $1.5 billion.
      This is in contrast with the trade deficit that the Philippines carries with China.
      While this author has attempted several times to obtain a history (for the last 10 years) of the trade statistics that the Philippines has with China, the author has been unable to do so due to the refusal of the Philippine Trade Ministry to provide this information.


      The Sudden and Unexpected Decline in US/Filipino Relations

      The most strategic partner in Asia for the US for the past 70 years has been the Philippines.
      Indeed, President Obama visited the Philippines during his 2nd term, to create the political atmosphere to allow for a military presence of US military forces in the Philippines. Since the election of President Rodrigo Duertre however, this has changed dramatically.
      The US and the EU have criticized the official Philippine government policy of sanctioning “hit squads” of Philippine law enforcement officials augmented by vigilante groups. President Duertre has responded with wild accusations and has begun to ally his country with China and or Russia. A recent poll of the Filipino people show that they fully support the actions of President Duertre both in his dramatic change of Filipino foreign policy and the use death squads to hunt down and kill people who are addicted to drugs, and those that sell drugs without the benefit of due process of law.
      From calling the President of the United States a “Son of a Whore”, in his native language, which loosely translates to “Son of a Bitch”, to having a temper tantrum where President Duertre has told the US and the EU to “Go to Hell”, President Duertre has seriously damaged political relations with both the US and the EU.
      His comment “Son of a Whore” was particularly demeaning to President Obama as many US right wing organizations in America have questioned his birth right, and impinged on the moral character of the president’s mother.
      President Duertre and his political appointees are constantly playing the race card in their dealings with the West.
      Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay has continued injecting racial overtones to the dispute between the US and the Philippines with a 500 word broadside against the US…”invisible chains that reined us in towards dependency and submission as “little brown brothers” not capable of true independence and freedom.”
      This racist smear has angered the Americans. After the presidential election in November, and increasingly it is apparent that Hillary Clinton will win this election, the attention of the American people, and the new president, will turn to this issue, and the “special relationship” once enjoyed by both countries will end.
      While the Obama administration has refused to be baited into a war of words with the Philippines, it has also not moved to mute its criticism of the “Death Squads” that now roam the Philippines killing people at will accused of being drug addicts or drug pushers.
      Because of the uncertainty that President Duertre has introduced into the 70 year alliance, it is only prudent that the United States take those actions necessary not only to maintain its presence in Asia, but also to be able to help defend its friends and allies against the increasingly imperial dictates of China, and China’s claim to the South China Sea.
      Ironically, it is China who is violating Philippine sovereignty, and it has been the US supporting the Philippines in its basic territorial rights.

      Possible countries for increased Military Cooperation with the US

      The nations involved in the South China Sea crisis are, The Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, The Republic of China, The People’s Republic of China and Malaysia.
      Prior to the election of President Duertre, the Philippines had been a close ally of the US; however, that is no longer the case.
      The US and Malaysia enjoy a solid relationship despite Malaysia’s strong disapproval of the US 2003 invasion of Iraq. The US and Malaysia have a strong security relationship, yet are not bound by any military defense agreement.
      Malaysia does have security agreements with the Philippines and with other nations in the South China Sea. Malaysia does have naval facilities that would partially make up for the loss of naval privileges with the Philippines.
      However, Malaysia does have significant economic ties to China, and has a significant minority Chinese population that has flared into violence.
      While Malaysia has begun to strengthen its military in the South China Sea when in 2013, Chinese naval elements began a show of force off the coast of James Shoal. The Malaysian government issued a rare public rebuke, but in 2014 the Chinese sent 3 warships to give a demonstration of force, and no public comment was made.
      However, it was Malaysia that was responsible for a remarkable turnaround in quashing a communique criticizing China’s 9 dash line in 2016. The position of Malaysia is not clearly known, and Malaysia may have permanently fallen into China’s political orbit.

      Vietnam, while not having a defense agreement with the US, is moving into a closer security association with the US. Vietnam does have a prior relationship with Russia, and Russia has recently announced that it would approach Vietnam for naval basing facilities at Cam Ranh Bay.
      While the US does not have a military agreement, Singapore is a major naval base of the US, and would be able to host major US warships should the need arise.


      The sudden and unexpected shift by the Philippines has created difficulties for the US, and its political position in Southeast Asia has been weakened, but not as dramatic as the Philippines think.
      The only issue for the US is the free use of the sea lanes in the South China Sea. The artificial islands built by China are vulnerable to attacks by stealthy drone aircraft. The vulnerability of these manufactured islands is their “double retaining sea walls”. These sea walls are easily destroyed using Predator drones armed with missiles, and the Electro-magnetic rail guns now just becoming available to the US Navy.
      The US possesses the technological capability to destroy the artificial islands that China has constructed, and to do so with little or no risk to its military forces.
      The US would be aided by Japan, and by the EU. The EU does not recognize Chinese claims to the South China Sea, and its economic interests are threatened by the claims of the Chinese. If the EU does not actively join the US in any confrontation, they would assist the US economically and politically.
      The sudden and violent attack by President Duterte against the US is in the minds of the US people is inexplicable. Since President Duterte’s approval rating by the Filipino people is at a record high, the American people can only assume that they also approve of President Duterte’s smear of President Obama, and that has caused a great deal of anger among the American people. There is widespread revulsion of the Filipino people’s support for outright murder of their citizens who are addicted to drugs. American’s consider this type of behavior so distasteful, that US aid to the Philippine’s is in real danger of being sharply curtailed, even halted altogether.

    4. Relationships are two way. US people will not stand for constant headache of “friend” who insults, demeans and disrespects. Duterte must watch his words. Trust is hard to rebuild.

    5. Who would believe what this guy is saying ? Who is he fooling ? Not me. After more than 100 days, his persona is showing. At first , I was thinking there is a plan , a reason on all of these conflicting statements. My conclusion to all readers, stop second guessing, this guy has nothing , this country is very poor and no amount of financial assistance can help this nation. There is 30 to 40 percent poor people in this country and it will be that way forever.

    6. I see now. He was only joking about it while in China.Watch the U.S. stop all it’s aide due to this guy is out in left field some where. I wonder if China go the joke as well. Watch China turn around say we were only joking about the 24 billion.

    7. Stanley Forenza on

      Don’t be surprised when US severs ties with PH. They can only take so much from the crazy old man. PH has done nothing for US except take take take, then insult, insult, insult. US is not your bitch Duterte.

    8. That U.S. Embassy property on the waterfront would make a nice Manila home for the Duterte family.

      • I don’t think du30’s family is interested to stay in manila for the remainder of his tenure. otherwise they’re already in malacanang right now having a right to do so. your suggestion might happen when become the president in the future.

    9. # The point of view of Senator Gordon about DU30 breaking with America and romancing with China and Russia is correct!

      My point of view:
      # The approx 3 Million Filipino-Americans paying taxes to the United States are questioning how Obama and Hilary spent the $$$$$ trusted to them that increase the debts of America to $20 Trillions.

      # The Filipino American tax payers might also question the $$$ being paid to the administration of Du 30 in the coming year/s.

      # DU 30 + YASAY is not equal to millions of Fil-American tax payers who are sending $$$$ to the Philippines.

      For sure the USA is not worried about the combination of China and Russia about the conflict China illegally occupying that international water particularly the occupied Philippine sea.

      A Headline report from BUSINESS NATIONAL INTEREST dated October 22, 2016 shows “Why Russia and China Fear America’s Seawolf-class Submarines.” My notion is the USA has the legal right even by force to destroy that China made islets in the Philippine Sea to protect not the right of Philippines but the rights of America to maintain the normal flow of business and military travel in that particular part of the Philippine Sea.

      I talk to some of the Fil-Ams here in the USA, among my business and social associates and clients if they want to visit the Philippines today. Many of them told me, “Let us see after one or two years, how DU30 will clean the mess in the Philippines while DU 30 is allying himself with China and Russia. If he is successful, we will congratulate him, if not, we will condemn him. That is fair enough.”

      The problem is there are 40 million poor Filipinos suffering in the Philippines. The other Filipinos are having a better life because the Fil-Americans are sending them $$$.

      The Chinese people in the Philippines are controlling the businesses and politics. Why these people do not have the Philippines provide employment and formal education to these suffering Filipinos? Why not DU 30 ally himself with these big Chinese businessmen, force them to help the poor Filipinos? There is a saying –“The diamond is in your backyard.”

      Assuming the drug problem is solved after killings of thousands of people, will there be solution to the current mess?

      When Fidel Castro ousted Batista, the Cubans celebrated. Then Castro allied with Russia. Look what happened to the Cuban people now? Economic and political disasters! Did Russia help Cuba economically? Not even militarily! Cuba is a good example of Russian ally. How about China? China’s allies? Do you have a record of China helping other countries economically? Go to the rural areas and you will find how the Chinese people are suffering poverty and evils of communism. WAKE MEN!


      MANILA (TP). President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines announced the opening of the Rodrigo Duterte International School of Diplomacy today. “I’m going to show those sons of whores what real diplomacy is all about,” Duterte shouted to reporters from a podium at Malacañang Palace. “And if anyone doesn’t like it they can go to hell,” Duterte finished as he abruptly left the stage. Aides promised to provide more detail about the new school “as soon as funding from the Chinese becomes available.”

      • Ignacio Balbutin on

        hahaha Mr. President your greatest problem is about diplomacy, so you should that job to Mr. Yasay because he is perfecto in that matter hehehe, your diplomatic tact is a disaster that’s why your advisers is having hard time patching up your undiplomatic ways

      • The people supported Aquino and his liberal party thieves for 6 years until they lost the election then they act like they never did.