Time for DU30’s non-Red supporters to draw the line

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FRANCISCO S. TATAD

FRANCISCO S. TATAD

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s visit to China this week makes no attempt to replicate President Rodrigo Duterte’s effort to “separate” the Philippines economically and politically from the United States, and align it with China and Russia “against the world.” But some analysts have already suggested that Najib’s visit is nothing short of a domino effect of DU30’s initiative. For Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, DU30’s ‘pivot’ to China has put him in the company of strongmen strongmen Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jiping, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among others.

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DU30 will be in Kuala Lumpur next week to pursue his whirlwind tour which has so far covered Laos, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, China and Japan since the Asean summit in September. He and Razak could then exchange notes fresh from the latter’s trip to Beijing. Where DU30 signed 13 trade and investment agreements worth $13.5 billion with President Xi Jinping, and got billions more in soft loans, Razak and Xi were expected at the end of the day to sign a number of contracts on various things including infrastructure and defense equipment.

Where DU30 and Najib differ

Both have grievances against the US, but they are not exactly the same. DU30 has taken offense that some allies—-like US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and leaders of the European Union—-have been critical of the summary killing of 4,000 suspects and counting in his ongoing war on drugs. He believes this constitutes an unwelcome intervention in the purely internal affairs of his government. Thus he believes he should not be faulted for calling Obama the son of a whore and asking him to go to hell, cursing “F**k you” Ban Ki-moon, and flashing the middle finger at the EU leaders.

Razak’s grievance on the other hand stems from the US federal agents freezing more than $1 billion in US assets purchased by his relatives and associates out of funds stolen from 1MDB (Malaysia Development Berhad), the government firm. The corruption scandal and the US action which have made world headlines have threatened the Razak government and the economy with possible collapse, prompting 1MDB to embark on a fire sale of its power assets, which China General Nuclear Power Corporation, China’s biggest nucler energy producer, acquired for $2.3 billion last year.

Razak has not said the same things about his country’s relations with the US as the Filipino head of state has.
By talking of “separating” the Philippines militarily and economically from the US, without formally notifying the government that he is abrogating the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, which could be terminated upon one year’s written notice, or the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement which could be terminated upon six months’ notice, or the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which could be terminated upon one year’s notice, or all of these at once in accordance with their respective termination clauses, DU30 has succeeded —- as far as some political observers are concerned—-in nixing Obama’s pivot to Asia and disrupting the balance of power in the Asia Pacific.

The view from Kyoto

Writing from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, senior visiting research fellow Walden Bello says DU30 has kicked up a storm which constitutes a profound challenge to the post-World War II system of regional security in the Asia-Pacific. But he can’t say whether it is pure bluff or bluster. “It remains to be seen whether Typhoon Duterte will gather strength or peter out in the foreseeable future,” Bello writes.

For foreign affairs analyst Patrick Lawrence in The Nation, the oldest US weekly, “This is more than a diplomatic earthquake. It augurs a fundamental shift in the power balance in the Western Pacific. Yasuhiro Nakasone, Japan’s premier during the Reagan years, once called the country ‘a floating aircraft carrier’ for all the American naval and air facilities it hosts. The Philippines has been another such strategic asset since Teddy Roosevelt dreamed imperial dreams in the early 1900s. And now, as Duterte made explicitly clear…during a state visit to Japan he wants to ‘revise or abrogate’ a recent agreement that allows the United States to lease Filipino military bases, after more than a century of privileges only interrupted in the 1990s.”

 No concrete action

“Fundamental shift” appears to be the phrase favored by analysts. It is what DU30 has promised, but it has not happened yet. While proclaiming his desire to pursue an “independent foreign policy” vis-a-vis the US, he did not mind confessing his dependence on China for economic loans. He has done nothing to translate his declared “separation” into reality.

As far as the military issue is concerned, DU30 has not formally notified the US that he is terminating the MDT, the VFA, and the EDCA. Without such notification, the US government will not know whether he is serious or not. His cursing Obama and telling him to go to hell does not and cannot unilaterally change the terms of the agreements nor declare that they no longer exist.

While the agreements are in place, DU30 cannot order the Armed Forces of the Philippines to boot out the American troops from the bases and let the drug rehabilitation centers operated by the Chinese take their place. Such an order cannot be given or obeyed. For its part, the Supreme Court may have to declare it unconstitutional and void.

The Americans cannot stop him from buying weapons from China and Russia, as he has begun to do. That would be his constitutional right and prerogative, whether or not it is practical or wise. Neither can he prevent the US government from refusing to sell him 26,000 N-4 rifles for the Philippine National Police, as the State Department has just announced, and which has forced him to curse again, calling the Americans “monkeys,” despite his solemn promise to God during his return flight from Japan, not to curse again.

Neither can he—-and I hope I am completely wrong here—-prevent the US from refusing to sell replacements and military spare parts to the military, if it should so decide. This would put at risk the entire weapons systems which the AFP had originally acquired from the US—-at such horrendous cost, not only in money terms, to the Philippine government. One can only hope and pray this does not come to pass. Otherwise, the monkeys could degenerate into lower animals.

A breed of autocrats

In his Financial Times article, Rachman describes DU30 as a president “who came to power through an election but whose swaggering style and scant respect for law is typical of the new breed of autocrats.” He identifies Putin as the leader of this group, to which belong Trump, Xi Jinping, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, India’s Narendra Modi, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, and others. In international diplomacy, these strongmen tend to bypass international institutions and international law and sort things out man-to-man, says the article.

The description seems to fit DU30 to a T. But categorizing him as a dictator or psychoanalyzing him and quoting medical experts to tell us what he really is serves only to hide rather than reveal what he really intends to do to this country. DU30 is in earnest in his effort to turn the Philippines into a socialist state with the help of his closest childhood friends, former classmates, dormitory roommates, fraternity brothers, and political allies, who now compose the inner core of his government. This is what should concern all our people, beginning with his supporters. Where Marcos waged a revolution to turn back the communist movement, DU30 seems determined to lead a socialist revolution.

This is spelled out in the organizing document of Kilusang Pagbabago (Movement for Change), the mass indoctrination movement under Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., which I wrote about in an earlier column and which is now being organized at barangay level throughout the Philippines. The postponement of the barangay elections to October next year will allow DU30 to appoint all the CPP/NPA/NDF barangay officials who will form the base of the Kilusan.

More communists in office

Seasoned communists are already entrenched in the Cabinet, even without the benefit of a peace agreement, which mandates a coalition government with the CPP/NPA/NDF. Until now, the popular impression in the media is that only four active CPP/NPA/NDF members have been named to sensitive government positions. The latest secret document from highly authoritative sources belies this.

The document claims that the apparently non-ideological Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is a full member of the CPP.

Evasco, former priest, former mayor of Maribojoc, Bohol, DU30’s presidential campaign manager, in control of Kilusang Pagbabago and 12 strategic government agencies under his supervision as Cabinet Secretary was elected CPP Central Committee Member at the 8th CPP Plenum at Susung Dalaga in Bicol in 1981;
Rafael Mariano, Secretary of Agrarian Reform; elected CPP Central Committee Member at the 10th CPP Plenum in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur in August 1997; Anakpawis, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas; Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid;
Judy Taguiwalo, Secretary of Social Welfare and Development; Chair, Women’s Committee of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers; elected CPP Central Committee at the 9th Plenum in 1985;
Silvestre Bello III, Secretary of Labor; Chief Negotiator, GRP Panel; active National Democrat, Davao;
Liza Maza, chief convenor National Anti-Poverty Commission; elected CPP Central Committee Member at the 10th CPP Plenum in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur in August 1997; former Gabriela party list representative;
Peter Lavina, Undersecretary, Office of the Cabinet Secretary; NDF;
Joel Maglunsod, Undersecretary for Labor Relations, DOLE; elected CCP Central Committee Member at the 10th Plenum in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur in 1997;
Marcelino P. Escalada Jr., National Housing Authority administration; full member, CPP;
Ednar Dayanghirang, Administrator, National Commission for Indigenous Peoples; NDF;
Delfin Cabrera, Undersecretary, Office of the Cabinet Undersecretary; elected CPP Central Committee Member at the 12th Plenum in Sariaya, Quezon, in 2008; member, NDF National Council;
Terry Ridon, Chairman, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor; elected CPP Central Committee Member at the 13th Plenum in Quezon City, 2012.

Time to draw the line

By striking a sharp contrast between his discontents with the US and his fascination with China, DU30 has succeeded in diverting public attention from the nation’s real struggle to the merely sensational one. The real struggle is between a morally righteous society and an amoral or immoral one, between our present democratic and republican Philippine state and the CPP/NPA/NDF’s projected socialist state.

Those who voted for DU30 and who are not communist should now organize themselves into one solid bloc and draw the line between those who want him to succeed as a democratic head of state and those who want him to turn the country into a dull and boring communist one. And they should insist that DU30 consult with and listen to them at all times on what is good and bad, what is just and unjust, what is legal and illegal, what is right and wrong.

fstatad@gmail.com

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28 Comments

  1. Edwin Subijano on

    What do you do when you have lost the argument ??? Bring out the communist bogey !!!
    Tatad was instrumental in the in the declaration of martial law. He was a loyal lap dog of
    Ferdinand Marcos long before ML and had his fill of rewards during ML. But he was later
    ousted from the Marcos circle because there were more loyal, branier and greedier lap
    dogs who contested his position.

    Now Tatad is talking high and mighty and still mouthing his anti-communist bogey. His blatant
    declaration that some cabinet members are members of the CPP (and therefore guilty of
    treason) without any proof should not go unchallenged. It is time to dig up Tatad’s dirty and
    obnoxious past and reveal him for what he is – a self serving asshole !!!

  2. why fear socialism in the first place? have we ever experienced pure socialism?
    no western power, ever, mentioned anything good about socialism and communism.
    we don’t have anything to prove that democracy is better than socialism.
    think, before you speak.

  3. Look more Communist Collaborators posting here, as I suspected Duterte voters are indeed pro Communist.

  4. By striking a sharp contrast between his discontents with the US and his fascination with China, DU30 has succeeded in diverting public attention from the nation’s real struggle to the merely sensational one. by Se. Kit Tatad

    Here you go again, you keep on spinning the issues. You blame the president of a sovereign nation who stand up against the arrogance of an american administration (Obama Administration). You accuse Mr. DU30 of abrogating a number of agreements with the US which Mr. DU30 states he don’t have authority to do. You also painted a dangerous scenario, that since Mr. DU30 asked assistance from China, my Philippines will become a socialist state. You forgot to mention Mr. DU30 also seek the assistance from Japan. Does that mean my Philippines would also have an emperor? Why is it bad to turn your back to a bully like the Obama administration and seek friendship from an old foe. Topping that you forgot to mention the vast benefits my Philippines obtain from all the loans Mr. DU30 got from this old foe. I am just asking for a fair and balance view. As far as I can see, Mr DU30 administration is making and trying very hard to get my Philippines progress and be great again.

    Those who voted for DU30 and who are not communist should now organize themselves into one solid bloc and draw the line between those who want him to succeed as a democratic head of state…… by Sec. Kit Tatad

    I don’t follow filipino politics. I have no clue of who Mr. DU30 is. I heard of him when an american ask me of a filipino candidate nickname Dirty Harry. I mistaken him for Erap Estrada and that cannot be correct. That is so idiotic to let an impeach president run again for the same position. To my surprise, Mr. DU30 won the presidency. That was a head scratcher. How can a complete unknown become president of my Philippines. Curiosity set into me,I want to know more about the man. Mr. DU30 to me can communicate to all common filipino with all his chauvinist diatribes and his curses. He is very clear and honest about his leftist leaning. But he is clear when he say I only serve the filipino people . He has no ambition of enforcing his ideology. He himself admit after his presidency he would like to return to civilian life. I think he is a man of his word. If ever Mr. DU30 renege on his word, he himself know the fate of a certain dictator i.e. Marcos and his world famous shoe loving wife, of how they were booted out of my Philippines. My Philippines is a God fearing country. It would never adhere to atheistic socialist ideology .Thank you

  5. Jacinto Baybay on

    The creeping communists into Philippine democracy is the new “CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER” to the country.

  6. A shift to communism will not sit well with the majority. Such move will also be violative of the Constitution, which prescribes that the Philippine state shall be democratic and republican. Socialism or communism had long ceased to be relevant. Sen. Kit should be commended for this latest expose.

  7. Plainly this is a take over. It is a common saying among Politicians such as this line “If our Man win, it is our turn”. Just how fast DU30 governance was in place in a matter of 100 days was totally amazing. The silent majority who are democratic in nature voted for DU30 not expecting a sudden change in government policy.

  8. Looks like a legion of Du30’s elite is watching your column. More power to you. Du30 would never have been chosen by the 16m duped voters if he had expressed his intention to pivot Philippines towards China and Russia.

  9. Kilusan ng Pagbabago or Reformation Movement (sounds like Marcos’ Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan doesn’t it?) is engaged in mass indoctrination at the barangay level? You mean like the sunday mass of the Church that has been going on for 500 years? To empower the barangays and to put them over and above the current elite power holders of today is the right direction to take if we are intent in reforming this country. Of course this development will make the political class nervous because they live in exclusive gated villages. When government regulators no longer come from these gated villages but from the other side of the tracks, that is the only time we can say that the people have taken back the government. The difference between you and Evasco is that he knows what Power to the People really means.

  10. You sound like the red-neck Sen. MacCarthy with your cold war rhetoric. In China, where i have been working for 7 months now, the Communist party which have made genuine reforms to transform itself from an underdeveloped nation into a powerhouse today surely would debunked your paranoia of a communist takeover and turn the Philippines into a collective state. China has made great strides by adopting a capitalist mindset but with their own protectionist measures to advance their interest. The communists are in fact, ironically, good in business like they always have been. Of course, Mao’s failure when he launched the cultural revolution, was a traumatic past which we should learn from.
    I am not a communist like the President, maybe left leaning and i do not mind the presence of communists or leftists in the government as long as they have renounced armed struggle and will do their sworn duty of working for the common good. And may you have the conscience to examine yourself about your role during the Martial Law years and the alleged ill-gotten wealth that you are still enjoying today.

  11. The good intentions of this president will not serve the people of the Republic on the long term. Making a lot of noise on the foreign policy and war on drugs, in the mean time having the back door open for CPP/NPA/NDF to come in and change a democratic country in to a communist country. When it’s to late most people will see. For now? Keep cheering for his bad language, don’t forget to tell your kids not to cuss. What an example this man is as no1 of state.

  12. A very nice observation worth thinking of and avlot of explanation to be made by the appointing authority. I am wondering why most of these appointed members of the cabinet are members of the cpp. Are we heading for a socialist state? Is it good or bad for the country as oligarch still persist in the nation. A large portion of the population especially in the countryside are poor. If this is good for the people why not try this federalism-socialist kind of state.

  13. Ignacio Balbutin on

    if this column is true and the President is really planning for a communist state then he is doomed to fail. The democratic loving filipino people and the AFP will never allow that. 90% of the filipinos are watching and if they can see that the President is going to make the country a communist state then maghalo na ang balat sa tinalupan. The President will go down in history as the one who destroy his own country like the Khmer rouge of Cambodia decades ago. If he make this wrong move and the military will stand up against him the the US forces who are in the south China sea are ready to help any movement that go against the President. That will be a window of chance for them to intervene and install a democratic form of government

  14. wrong, not to a T- Pres Duterte is a lawyer– he is following the law.

    there is No evidence eon the so-called EJK, s–rachman is an ivory tower guy.

    It is also irresponsible journalism to say that there is an EJK in the Philippines– there is NO evidence yet, and nobody even in the CHR filed any case on EJK–not even the yellows, or Sen de Lima

  15. To balance the positive and negative news about the way Du30 does his moves and countermoves is the reason why I even consider reading your page. But I just noticed that you make a headline and focus a single paragraph on it. The rest are repeating criticisms (4000 victims/cursing/psychopath/Obama-EU-UN cursing) without any relation to your headline at all. The point of all this is? ? ? ? >?

  16. Ok folks 12 strong personnel from the red side. Observed and think again. Si Ka Digong tanungin kung saan tayo pupunta.Mga kababayan magisip at komilus.Push to clean up the ranks.Unahin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno.Iligpit ang mga pushers.Linisin ang kapulisan at military.Give Ka Digong a chance.

  17. Yes, the Communists are bad, they should have eliminated all the Oligarchs a long time ago. We would not have these problems of EDSA traffic because the developments are more spread out in the countryside.

    We would have redistributed farm lands to more farmers instead of being in the names of Oligarchs who are just in it for bragging rights.

    Yes, we need to return to the PNoy era where government spending is retarded to look good on papers, and just allow projects whose developers are willing to shed 40% commission to the well-breed economic managers.

  18. Du30 claims he is being propped up by the power of God, so he need not fear as long as he keeps his promise to the Almighty, which as in his own words is the same as obeying the will of the Filipino people, most of the supported him for being anti-crime and anti-corrupt rather than anti-west and pro-communist.

    As a reminder I dedicate to Du30 this composition “God the Father said he will crash this plane” a version of the Godfather theme “Speak Softly Love”

    Speak softly, enough’of
    cursing, I warn before you start
    I feel your words
    render offensive the message you impart
    we’re in a world, where news is prone
    to scare with sound-bites so very overblown

    Tis’ God speaking, listen my dear son
    a President avoids cursing anyone

    Speak softly, enough of
    bad words, or you will surely die!
    I’ll crash this plane above
    so censor yourself or fall from the sky!
    In Pinas your antics may gain applause,
    but your critics in the world there are more of

    Tis’ God speaking to you my dear son
    a President avoids profaning anyone

    Speak softly, cough
    instead of cursing, can you try?
    Cease insulting EU, UN and US our ally
    they’ll stop their aid and all because
    of your Du30 diplomacy or lack thereof!

  19. If ever Du30’s ulterior, albeit latent, plan veers toward a socialist state, still the (greater) majority of voters may follow him with little thought despite early warning by the likes of you, Mr. Tatad, who try to do the “voice crying in the wilderness” role. Would that deeper and longer thought be made about the pros and cons of socialism vis-à-vis democratic systems, not merely in economic and political terms, but also (and dominantly!) in moral aspects. To the first comment may I volunteer the saying, “Hell is full of people with good intentions,” as one mystic writer posited.

    • Just take a look at the comments on this page, they don’t see anything wrong with Communism sweeping thru the country and one is even proposing “elimination”

      All Duterte Supporters are now Pro Communist because Duterte said Communism is good.

      Whatever Duterte says his followers will follow and agree.

      So there is really no point in trying to talk to Duterte’s Non Red supporters.

  20. A fascinating insight into what a western trained PH elite thinks. The constant aggrandisation of western values and beliefs to the exclusions of PH needs is the cause of the sorry state of the PH economic and international status. To his credit President Du30 can see that the PH cannot continue on its present course where a small minority of elites believe in western values of society at the cost of development for the vast majority of the country population. What they need is development. curbing the drug menace, not laws that protect western values and the President have gone in the right direction by appointing people who will chart the course of development for the PH. The writer of this article should live in the US where he is better placed to enjoy the fruits of western values and society. Not sure whether the police would harass him for looking less than a honky tonk.

    • BULLSEYE ! ! ! This Duterte phenomenon is slowly but surely making many people realize that what really ails us is our westernization, or rather its crude form which is Americanization. Centuries of mental conditioning has led us to what is called our damaged culture, which in turn makes us believe that to serve the interests of the American-led west is the highest ideal. Duterte may be the last chance for us Filipinos to stand as one if we do not want to continue to kneel before our foreign masters. To pray for Duterte is to pray for the people.

  21. I’ll remember to skip your pages next time. You’re just one of those who refuse to see the good intentions of this president. Adios