To power the presidency, talk of civilizational issues



Like a play looking for a plot, President Duterte’s “diplomatic war” with the United States is one in search of a valid reason and a just cause. We are dumbfounded by its sheer opacity, and the prospect that we shall ever see the real reason and cause for it seems rather remote. It is beginning to look like like a border war between two states that have no common border to begin with.

Philippine relations with China, on the other hand, appear to be warming up after six years of lying inside the freezer during the B.S. Aquino 3rd’s watch. DU30 will be visiting China in the next few days, accompanied by a large business delegation, to explore trade, investment and other opportunities. This portends seismic effects upon the politics of Asia Pacific. Amid statements that the country can stand without foreign aid, one Cabinet secretary says the China trip will bring in some $3 billion in “funding aid.”

Cold water on PH-US relations
An article in The Diplomat describes DU30’s visit as a “splash of cold water” on Philippine-US relations. This is an interesting turn in a century of Philippine-Chinese and Philippine-American relations. In the US debates on the merits of acquiring the Philippines after the Spanish-American war, the US minister to China Charles Denby saw the Philippines as America’s “gateway” to the vast Chinese market. In his article, “Shall we keep the Philippines?” (Sept. 1898), Denby wrote:

“I recognize the existence of a national sentiment against the acquisition of foreign territory; but…we have to compete with the commercial nations of the word in far-distant markets. Commerce, not politics, is king…There is a boundless future which will make the Pacific more important to us than the Atlantic…The possession (of the Philippines) gives us standing and influence. It gives us also valuable trade both in exports and imports… We are taking our proper rank among the nations of the world.”

The prophecy has been fulfilled. The Pacific has become more important to the world than the Atlantic. But DU30 is about to turn Denby’s statement on its head: instead of the Philippines acting as the US gateway to China, the US is about to become the Philippines’ gateway to the vast Chinese market. It is not clear what finished products DU30 has to sell to China, which has become the manufacturing center of the world. But clearly the Philippines stands to become a source of raw materials for China’s finished products.

Is this but a passing episode in the history of Philippine-US relations? Or will it mark the decline of those relations, with all their possible effects on the power relations in the Asia Pacific?

The child of a hundred years
Our “special relations” with the US now span over a hundred years. The relationship is far from perfect; but it has stood the test of time, despite its share of grievances and discontents. Our economic ties are rivaled only by our economic ties with Japan; our security and military ties are as old as America’s primacy in the Pacific; and our political ties have been watered by blood in war and cemented by shared advocacies in various forums around the world.

But in deciding to build stronger ties with China and Russia, DU30 has chosen to downgrade the Philippines’ historic ties with the US, even though the US offers no obstacle or objection to his move toward Beijing and Moscow, and neither of them wants it as the price of closer ties with them. It looks like DU30 wants to use his foreign policy to solve a domestic problem. A global storm is raging from the summary killings of drug suspects, and from DU30’s bellicose and fetid response to every question raised about it.

Phony surveys
To salve DU30’s wounded pride, the usual fraudsters have come up with “surveys” claiming his continued “popularity among the masses,” whatever the truth is. Yet, despite his allegedly high popularity rating, nothing remotely resembling the shadow of a consensus has emerged in support of his announced tilt away from the US.

Filipinos are by far the most pro-American foreign nationals in the world, according to a study by Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank in the US. Many of them are also pro-DU30, so they are not marching against his announced pivot. But why are they not lining up behind it, either? Obviously because they have not heard the real reason for his shift. They feel lost.

It is China that has reclaimed and fortified the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China/West Philippine Sea. The US is but an interested bystander who wants to see the maritime dispute settled through peaceful means under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), while China wants it resolved as a purely bilateral issue between herself and the Philippines. Many agree that DU30 should explore wider areas of confrontation with China for as long as we are unable to discuss our territorial dispute. But nobody understands why DU30 has to punish the US for it.

What’s the real beef?

What precisely is DU30’s grievance against the US? He has not revealed it. Is the US unduly discriminating against Filipinos or their agricultural products? Has the US threatened to declare the Philippines a rogue or pariah state? Is the US stockpiling nuclear weapons in the Philippines in violation of our Constitution and our military agreement? Any one of these acts, or any similar acts might be sufficient reason for DU30 to act against the US. But nothing as serious as any of these has occurred. Our political, economic or military positions are not on collision course and have not clashed.

The only recorded incident involves DU30 calling the US ambassador a “gay sonofabitch,” and the US President a “son of a whore” after he was asked in a news conference whether he and Obama would be discussing the local drug killings at the Asean summit in Vientiane, Laos. He then dusted off a 100-year-old print depicting the battle of Bud Dajo on March 7, 1906 to show that the US colonial forces had “massacred” 600 Filipino Muslims, four years after the Philippine-American war had ended, for which no one had been prosecuted.

But DU30 has not declared that this US “violation of human rights” 110 years ago and Obama’s wanting to poke his nose into the present drug killings were the reasons for his decision to tilt away from Washington. They certainly cannot be. But absent an official explanation, the announced decision to tilt away from the US would appear to be purely the product of personal pique. This would be absurd. DU30 could rise above it and he should.

Confronting the world
While defending his human rights record, which is now threatened by a statement from a functionary of the International Criminal Court, DU30 could, and should engage the leaders of the world—the US, the European Union and the United Nations—on the “civilizational issues” related to the future of man, society and the world.

Without necessarily calling on his natural gift for profanity and invectives, he could use a portion (not all) of his pugnacity to challenge those who have turned political correctness into a dogma in order to glorify the beast in man and cast aside what is noble and sacred in his nature. This would compel him to revisit his views and beliefs about God and man, which he may not find so easy to do at all.

But as the elected leader of a predominantly Catholic and Christian nation—probably the last such nation in the world—he should be prepared to take the risk of finding out that the Catholic Pope Francis, whom he has had the privilege of insulting at least once, is absolutely right when he says, “There is a World War to destroy the Family,” (to which I will add, “the human person himself,) and that “we must defend ourselves against ideological colonization.”

The LGBT advance
Since the Swedish authorities arrested Pastor Ake Green in 2004 for preaching against homosexual practices in church, quoting the text of Holy Scripture, the LGBT movement has made waves around the world. In Aquino’s time, the Congress railroaded the Reproductive Health Law after Obama gifted PNoy a $454 million grant in exchange for the passage of the measure, which lawmakers had refused to touch for at least 15 years.

In 2014, about a million people, including gays, marched on the streets of Paris to oppose a proposal to legalize “gay marriage.” But in 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the US Supreme Court legalized “same-sex unions” all over the US, after legalizing abortion on demand in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Recently in Oregon, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $135,000 by state authorities for refusing to bake cake for a lesbian wedding in violation of their Christian belief. They closed their bakery permanently rather than dishonor their faith.

However, at the UN on Oct. 6, the Human Rights Council appointed an LGBT Ombudsman in the person of Thai law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, to act as an “independent expert on violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” He is co-author of the Yogyakarta Principles, which advocate the advancement of gay rights around the world. As a Thai bureaucrat, he is heir to a sexually permissive tradition, which once boasted of having produced “Mr. Condom.” The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation slammed the appointment as “conflictual and contested,” while the Russian delegate said, “the post does not exist as far as we are concerned.”

The demographic crisis
The future of man and the human family is one area of global dialogue where someone of DU30’s credentials could tell leaders of the First World and their lackeys elsewhere what the votaries of political correctness have long lost the will and the courage to tell them. On July 25, 2015, in Nairobi, Obama asked Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to exert greater effort in promoting gay rights in Africa. With classical African tact and politeness, Kenyatta told Obama, Kenya had so many more pressing problems to attend to, and that gay rights were “a non-issue to them, Mr. President.”

If and when DU30 gets to talk to the Russian scientists and scholars, he will discover that to them the demographic winter in Europe is the most serious crisis in the world. Russia is losing some 250,000 people every year from the lack of new births, while the graying and ageing of the population continues. In China, they are now trying to correct the negative results of their one-child policy in favor of the male child. The male population exceeds that of women by several million, canceling any chance of marriage for these excess males. Although China’s population remains large, it is not producing enough young people to replace those who are dying or growing old. This is a negative factor in war or in peace.

If DU30 is truly determined to have stronger ties with China and Russia, he should try to develop with Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin a common stand on these civilizational issues. He could then become a champion not only of his own country but of a big part of human civilization. But he will have to begin at home—by getting rid of his economic advisers who would like to impose population control upon the nation, and all those copycat sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) bills in Congress.


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  1. Pacquiao does not have any qualification to be a senator. He is wasting our money by being a know nothing in the senate. I can’t understand his agenda. Maybe he is aiming for the presidency in 2022? Oh God help us.

  2. Francisco, Maybe you missed the impact of what DU30 is doing. The point is that DU30 is declaring the PH as an independent nation and that it will do things that improve its own interests. No longer will the PH do things just because another country tells it to.

  3. PAQUIAO should stay in boxing, not in Senate. He looks like a YES SENATOR. A senator must not be bookish. A senator must be creative and intellectual. I do not know why the Philippine voters put him in Senate.

  4. This is a beautiful piece of reflection by Sir. Kit Tatad! Elevating many of political realities from within our nation to international level, for which a leader should treat them with prudence and virtues to bring the new generation with the sense of belonging and cooperation rather than of war and a culture of hate. Presenting by our President Du30 the picture of 600 of our brothers Badjao who were helplessly massacred by the American soldiers on March 7, 1906, to South East Asian leaders, United States and other countries involved in summit meeting of leaders who were not even aware and directly involved with the crime committed, I found his time to speak using the picture of our massacred brothers Badjao to appeal and forge a solid Asian sense of mercy towards him and at the same time to evade being investigated of extrajudicial killing by aiding his listeners through the picture of our massacred Badjao. The presentation of that picture by his ulterior motive to divert attention of his extrajudicial killing was a mistake that President Du30 should have not done. If I were Mr. Du30, I would never do that, for reason that it was not the proper venue to present that picture, besides they are new generations of leaders whose intentions are to create an atmosphere of cooperation among other nations in their different levels of needs. If he were so adamant to present that picture, he could have found other time to present and discuss it with American leaders, and I guess US leaders would always be willing to listen. If there would have and shall have justice that needed to be done on behalf of our massacred 600 brothers and sisters Badjao in Mindanao as what president Du30 would likely to think and want by that day, he could have brought that in a plenary meeting with his fellow leader in the USA. The media men told us that President DU30 was a rock star, but for others who looked for a good statesman in the international arena on their behalf, President Du30 was a fallen star. Where is he leading our beloved Philippines? Former president Fidel Ramos told us recently that the Philippines is sinking. And I think so. DU30’s forging economic alliances with China and Russia, for which USA is lenient with the countreis the US is allied with to deal with other countries like China and Russia, for USA economic activities themselves are connected with China and Russia in many facets of two countries economic activities, and even funding the poor people of China and Russia through either direct help by US government or through Non-government organization, I have found President DU30 move for independent diplomatic course from United State no longer a new one in the strict sense of the term, because US does prohibit their allied countries to deal with other countries, for that is a core-valued-virtue of the democratic country. The Philippine has been doing economic exchanges to China and Russia before Du30 has became a president. What is a new? Nothing! Did United States say No to that Philippines economic exchanges to China and Russia and vice-versa? USA did not say any. In fact and I am sure USA has more economic exchanges to China and Russia than we are in the Philippines to China and Russia. And I am sure China and Russia have more economic exchanges to USA than to us in the Philippines. And I believe South East Asian countries have more economic activities to US than to us in the Philippines. So, where are we now? Du30 political vision in the Philippine is myopic and uncertain; his democratic vision and leadership is constrained by his temper and uncontrolled tongue that speak any words he would never thought he could say them to his fellow leaders.

  5. Filipinos are by far the most pro-American foreign nationals in the world, according to a study by Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank in the US. Many of them are also pro-DU30, so they are not marching against his announced pivot. But why are they not lining up behind it, either? Obviously because they have not heard the real reason for his shift. They feel lost. by Sec. Kit Tatad

    I would say filipinoes are very lost. We are overly depress with the unending inability my Philippines to obtain greatness and of the common people to improve their state of living. The economy, employment and education did not only improve but regress further.Administration after administration come and goes. Promises after promises provided none were fulfilled. I blame ignorance cause by inability to get education due to financial hindrance or something else. Politicians and the elites took advantage of this.

    Now, why are we so lost? People who are desperate will grab anything close whether harmful or not. People will do anything for the survival of their family. America, as I stated from previous reply, is the most charitable country in the world. It has been a beacon of light for our poor and prosecuted.But again, as my previous reply, if we have a leader like Mr. Obama better start thinking twice.
    I would never know what Mr,DU30 plans with his venture to China. I would not give my opinion. People need to watch and then evaluate.

    What precisely is DU30’s grievance against the US? by Sec. Kit Tatad

    I woke up this am and check issues in my Philippines. I watch and listen to a speech made by Mr. DU30 in Brunei
    He stated he is not communist but has leftist leaning. In another speech, he admitted he is a student and friend of Joma Sison.who is deemed by Marcos administration has communist leaning. Mr Sison is known to have no love with America.
    What is my point, I believe in my opinion, Mr DU30 has grievance against the US. He also refer to moro massacre by soldiers of the US. I did seen that picture which he always referred to . Listening to that speech in Brunei, he will visit China committed to improve our economic relation. As per your proposition, Mr. DU30 may reverse Denby’s statement. The US will be the gateway for the Philippines to the vast market of China. Hopefully this prophecy will be fruitful. Mr.DU30 cannot place his grievances and ideology ahead of the progress of my Philippines. And again he stresses the importance of bringing back the greatness my Philippines. I am very optimistic. Wait watch and evaluate. Thank you

  6. Yonkers, New York
    17 October 2016

    Even the perceptive FRANCISCO S. TATAD appears to be in a serious quandary regarding the reason why Little Tyrant Rodrigo Duterte has such a neurotic or psychotic animus toward the United States of America, a longtime reliable and generous ally of the Philippines.

    The massacre of those Moros in Mindanao in 1896 cannot be the real reason. One has to come to the final realization that it could be a personal hurt by an American, whether on himself, on a loved one, or on close relatives or friends–and one which he has found it impossible to forgive and forget.

    Now, as President, Rodrigo Dutete finally has his chance to wreck personal vengeance, but neurotic or psychotic PERSONAL vengeance, against the United States–even though he must know deep down that as President he has absolutely no right to do that.

    And, what’s worse, he not only is cutting ties with the United States. He is deliberately adding insult to injury by pushing the country into the embrace of COMMUNIST CHINA and RUSSIA–as, of course, just another Communist state, and probably as a Vassal of both Goliaths.

    As the magazine TIME perceptively laments, “NIGHT HAS FALLEN ON THE PHILIPPINES!” This could be a very long dark night lasting six troubled years–that is, if this neurotic and hate-filled Little Tyrant is not deposed, whether by IMPEACHMENT [as Supreme Court Justice ANTONIO CARPIO warns him], or via another PEOPLE POWER, or via a Military COUP D’ETAT.


  7. Its true that there is a war to destroy the family, and that the weapon of choice is “gay rights.” But it is the West that is at the forefront of this war effort, which makes not only its moral sincerity but also its real motive as to the future survival of mankind suspect. To put it simply, how can the human race survive if everybody becomes gay? Is the homosexual agenda at its bottom line the devil’s agenda? It is not unreasonable therefore to question our continuing westernization, and that is something that Duterte seems to have started. Your old boss FM never failed to emphasize how imperative it was for us to form our own ideology, perhaps realizing in his trenchant wisdom that the western civilization, intoxicating as it is, is the real reason we cannot reach our full potential as a people. He called his ideology Filipinism. Instead of bashing Duterte, I suggest you convince him to start a movement to de-westernize our country. The West is starting to falter on all fronts signifying that is entering a phase of rotten decay. The smart rat Digong is just abandoning the sinking ship, why is it a bad idea to join him?

  8. This is a pragmatic view of why RP’s geo-political tensions over the Spratlies is happening, here’s why.

    Drake said that “control of the sea gates, is control of world trade and consequently the world itself.” The British Empire and the United States came to be naval and maritime trade superpowers by controlling the sea gates of the world.

    China wants to step in and take over, first by blocking the Straits of Malacca at the China Sea. If China succeed the US plan B is to maintain an alternate sea gate via the Sulu sea – Sabah straits. That’s why the US hopes to maintain a presence in the RP in Mindanao so the US allies of Japan, S Korea, Taiwan, Australia and EU are not too isolated from the regional SE Asian trade and trade routes.

    Since Du30 announced no more joint patrols with the US in the Spratlies and evicted the US from Mindanao, that explains why US allies like the EU and Ban Ki Moon of S Korea, are exerting UN pressure on Du30 on the EJKs human rights issue, but in truth it is all about geo-politics and foreign trade. It’s really all about money.

  9. Why is he so mad with Obama ? Osama did nothing wrong. It is just a game Duterte is playing. Anti USA will work for our safety. Everybody is taking the bait thinking that it is for real. He knows the big contribution of America. The whole world knows the the Philippines is being 100 percent supported by the US. But if war breaks , US is too far away and by that time, China will bomb all US facilities in the Philippines. We will be the battleground , many will die. There is no way we can protect ourselves.

  10. Is it possible that Duterte is being too friendly with China is avoiding a war between China and the USA where in we will surely be attack by China being a ” colony ” of US ? US will not be attack because of the sheer distance of US from China. The nearest is the Philippines. Just something to think about. Duterte knows that almost all drugs came from China. What is the reason he is befriending China ? It appears to me that he is just acting an enemy of that US to appease China. US will not attack the Philippines but China will 100 per cent attack The Philippines if we are pro USA. One thing we must must remember, Duterte is not a stupid guy. It is my opinion that he is playing a clever trick on all of us for our well being. If my guess is true, we might have the greatest president of all time.

    • & what if your guess is wrong, yes it doesnt bear thinking about. If he is as you put it playing a game i think he is playing with fire. I hope the american president isnt to upset with the philippines as you all have a lot to lose.

  11. Good commentaries as usual for Sen. Tatad. As always, we have Tatad who have the courage to positively criticize this lunatic and evil president. No one except Delima, sometimes Lacson, Recto and Pangilinan and Trillanes can go against Duterte for fear of being expose to media of their corruption in government. Pacquiao is so “kapit tuko” and Cayetano all the time agrees with whatever Duterte says. Pacquiao and Cayetano usually cited some Biblical scriptures to defend their ideas but at this time, they are now in the hands of the devil president. I hope there are more learned people like Justice Carpio to suggest that whatever dealings that Duterte do to China is against the constitution. Yes, Duterte is not afraid being in the International Court, but his airness in his head will be ealt with by his children and grandchildren just like what happened to the children of Sadam Husein and Khadafy.

    • The Great Defiant on

      read between the lines.
      we were devastated during WWII because of the US bases here.
      in short, we are victim of proxy war.
      Now the US vs.China + Russia are in dagger arms with each other.
      If war broke out between them, they will attack Philippines because of the Americans presence here.
      Look Putin is calling all his diplomats to return to Russia.
      Just like DU30 who is trying to protect us.
      Learn from history not from Datdat.

    • @Phil Castro you say many things against DU30 and to personalities identified to him, may i ask you one simple question…”WHAT IS YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THIS COUNTRY?” and i’m sure nothing except as a keyboard warrior with nothing to show ….. mas mabuti pa sa iyo ang mga magsasaka may pakinabang sa bansang ito.

    • You are right Phil. Pacquiao is Tuko. As fresh New Senate Comer, he just swing his Punch on the air without understanding or evaluating what someone is dictating to him. He is more on Kampi-kampi for the preservation of themselves and not for the People. DU30 should stand by all existing written laws of the Land and treaties and agreements with foreign countries . All who came before him have respected these things.