PH will plot own course – Duterte

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President vows independent foreign policy

Saying he was “not a fan” of the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed Saturday to steer an independent course for the Philippines and refrain from confronting China.

Duterte made the comments after a controversial first foreign trip and spectacular falling out with US President Barack Obama.

“I am not a fan of the Americans… Filipinos should be first before everybody else,” he told reporters upon arrival in his hometown of Davao City late Saturday.


Duterte said the Philippines will be pursuing an “independent foreign policy” under his administration to safeguard the country’s interests.

In his speech after his arrival in Davao City from his trips—to Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit conference and to Indonesia for a working visit—Duterte reiterated the importance of the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in resolving issues.

“In our relations to the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. I repeat, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy,” he said.

The President added that the people and the interests of the country will take precedence in resolving international disputes.

“We will observe and must insist on the time-honored principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, non-interference and the commitment to peaceful settlements of disputes that will serve our people and protect the interests of our country,” he said.

The President hit the headlines here and abroad in recent days after making expletive-laden remarks that he later said were wrongly interpreted by media as being directed at Obama.

However, while Duterte expressed regret that his comments came across as a personal attack, he slammed the US for its atrocities against Filipinos at the turn of the last century, when the United States was in the process of colonizing the Philippines.

The President had drawn criticisms for insulting other leaders and institutions, such as the United Nations. He berated the UN and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for allegedly interfering with Philippines’ affairs by expressing concerns on the spate of extrajudicial killings in connection with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte also stressed that he does not intend to pick a fight with any nation.

“That is farthest from my mind. I only want to be at peace with everybody, doing business with everybody and no quarrels,” he said.

Duterte, accompanied by Cabinet members and other officials, arrived in Davao City from Jakarta aboard a chartered Philippine Airlines plane at 12:50 a.m.

The President told reporters that advancing the interest of the country was his objective when he attended the 28th and 29th Asean Summits and Related Summits in Jakarta.

“I engaged the leaders of Asean and its dialogue partners in important regional issues that have impact on peace, security, stability and prosperity of the region,” he said.

Duterte said he also brought up the issue of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) but “stressed our commitment to a peaceful settlement of these fields in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS,” referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“And I called on leaders to support individual and collective effort to bring security and stability in the South China Sea through the rules-based approach for resolving maritime disputes,” he said.

The President added that he also touched issues on terrorism and violent extremism and urged other leaders “to redouble our cooperative efforts in order to address this menace.”

Duterte reiterated that his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs will be “relentless and comprehensive, encompassing suppression, prosecution, and rehabilitation. All within the bounds of our laws.”

“On the illicit drugs trade, I underscored the Philippines’ grave concern over the social illness that breeds corruption at the highest levels, tears apart the fabric of our society, and debases human dignity,” he said.

Duterte said he had separate meetings, at the sidelines of the Asean summit, with the leaders of Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam, wherein he shared his vision of partnership and mutual trust and respect.

“With your help, my countrymen, and the support of the Asean member states, dialogue partners, we hope to bring the change we want and need through our engagement with the world,” he said. “The Philippines is open for business. This administration will do its part in providing the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and prosper.”

He assured Filipinos that his administration “will work very hard to make sure our economic opportunities will also be available at home.”

“Our objective is to make working abroad an option and not a need. Let us work together to achieve this goal,” he said.

WITH AFP

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13 Comments

  1. time will tell if the direction of isolation he is taking will be good for the country. and how will our allies will take this direction and his fowl mouth. but his direction to me look dangerous and risky. the Filipino people and the nation will suffer more than him. because he is already too old and don’t give a damn. the people should observe and monitor the economy and foreign investors if they are shying away in years to come. if the economy does not improve in 2 years and some of our allies will sanction us then its time for this guy to go before its too late.

  2. this is simple…duterte is completely out his mind.,while his followers mocks the previous present and calls him as abnoy, their supreme leader makes their remarks backfire into them.

  3. You have to take-out DU30, he is no different from Erap,except he as foul mouth.He doesn’t the intelligence to navigate, global diplomacy and present way of thinking. His embarrassing performance will alienate traditional allies like US, Japan, European Countries and many other.

    In the end, the Filipino will suffer. You have to take him out from the position on Power. The achievement of PH in the Itlos/Unclos is being undermine by this DU30. He is putting PH in isolation with those countries whom we have build goodwill.

    Saying that he will take a different foreign policy withour substance and the backing intellectuals doesnt mean anything.

    Someone has to take him out, otherwise, He will make PH a very sick man of Asia.

    • @Makabayan, why don’t you take him out yourself. Why look or ask someone to take him out? I bet you are one among the few disgruntled yellow who want to retain the status quo, a country lead by oligarchs who just think of enriching themselves while in power. Now DU30 is making a difference, he is slowly but surely uprooting the holds of the oligarchs and politicians who are enriching themselves at the expense of the people, raiding the country’s coffer through DAP and PDAF, coddling drug lords or producing the illegal drugs themselves.
      For the six full year of the yellow’s rule, have they try to stop or even made a dent to the flourishing illegal drug trade in the country? Compare those six years to the first 3 months of DU30 where more than half a million addicts and pushers surrendered, big drug lords and narco-politicians exposed. The extent of the illegal drug trade and addiction were unheard during the yellow’s governance which was guided by vindictiveness….

    • Ignacio Balbutin on

      On the contrary Philippines will be the richest man in Asia under President Duterte. His fight against drugs, crimes and corruption will make us richer than Singapore. He also promised that he will not have a vebal fight with anyone anymore

  4. Duterte will drag his feet and “politic” away his time and Philippines will lose more territory and resources to China. The few remaining Filipino people at least will be clear headed and sober when the nation is reduced to a few islands

  5. Living in the past is not good. Those 100 years ago, hardly human rights are spoken. Now is totally different. What Du30 will be doing may affect the over million Filipino in the US and other OFW on other foreign soils. Sending back to PI is a Tsunami lost for Du30 and the Country. Can somebody stop him for uncalled for attacks specially for our allies and friends. How about Russia and China?

  6. Move forward put the past in its place, be friendly to international community especially US who brought opportunity Economically in our country, Just do what you have promised in the campaign period that you will go to spratly’s and
    plant a philippine flag. fight for our territorial claim..

  7. CHANGE IS HAPPENING…….GO DUTERTE !!!!!! ALL Filipinos must do there bit to help bring CHANGE. !!!!!! Let us ALL help the President to make the Philippines the great Country it should be. !!!!!

  8. I believe that the President is in the right course.

    Let us make PEACE to everybody, even to our enemy!

    PEACE & LOVE!

  9. I am quite puzzled by Mr. President DU30 diplomatic approach in dealing with China’s construction of artificial Island in the West Philippine Sea by using the ruling of UNCLOS, but without getting other countries be involved, especially USA. I wonder if China would listen to him without the help of other countries especially USA, Australia and Japan and the ASEAN. If ever bilateral agreement would come true for both China and Philippine, I wonder if it would be for the advantage of the Filipino people. First and foremost, Mr. President DU30 you don’t have anything to bring to China to be agreed upon by China, because West Philippines Sea is a Sea of the Philippines according to the ruling of UNCLOs, and China should only be an acknowledging country of the ruling of UNCLOS. I know Chinese mentality, and I know they will not listen to you Mr. President Du30. If I were you Mr. President Du30, I would not make my own personal routing for my diplomatic approach to China. I do have to bring other countries directly involved in South China Sea.

    • Are you not aware these areas have been claimed by China 3-4 decades before the birth of the UNCLOS?
      And the tribunal ruling says historical means nothing?
      What do you think a power like China old react to that?
      Expect total rejection and nothing short of a war by the US will make her relinquish these real estates
      China has the patience and time on her side to fight this one out