• Who is orchestrating the Obama-Duterte zarzuela?



    Or The Making of A Philippine Political Superstar should have been the sub-title of this piece.

    When Duterte cussed Pope Francis during the latter’s visit to the Philippines, it was to be taken as a release of his natural tendency to badmouth almost anything. By now Duterte has landed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having cussed the most number of dignified personalities, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. But when he thrashes US President Barack Obama within the hallowed parameters of diplomatic decorum in the Asean Summit, like he was doing it in the mire and stench of the ghettos of Davao City, something must be in the offing. You just don’t bullshit the President of the Greatest Nation in the world without the CIA instantly delivering a telling response. But Duterte did just that and the CIA didn’t do anything as expected for a reprimand.

    What’s cooking?

    Just to illustrate how grave a reprimand a presidential misbehavior could elicit is this incident, posted on Facebook by departed comrade-in-arms Al Simbulan sometime before he passed away last Saturday. In that post, Al told of the dying testimony of former CIA operative and key Bay of Pigs/Watergate/Nixon administration figure E. Howard Hunt on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In his deathbed confession, aired on national radio, Hunt admits he was approached to be part of the CIA assassination team to kill JFK and that the main plotter of the assassination was then-vice president Lyndon B. Johnson, who on the night before the assassination had met up with Dallas tycoons, FBI moguls and organized crime kingpins and then emerged from the meeting to tell his mistress Madeleine Duncan Brown that “those SOBs [referring to the Kennedys]” would never embarrass him again.

    The man scorned in that incident was only a vice president, and yet he got back at the Kennedy’s with unforgiving resolve to kill. Precisely, that is the point here. How much more resolute would a US President be to avenge his thrashing in the hands of somebody as petty as the President of a former colony? You might say what was at stake in the Johnson-Kennedy rivalry was the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world at the time, yes, and in the Duterte-Obama match-up now, the stake is no less that: the US presidency on the balance. Would Obama pass it off as just one more display of Duterte’s irreverent character?

    Consider the circumstances. Duterte’s cussing the Pope took place in the midst of a traffic mess where one is not expected to pay heed to civil decorum. But make him bullshit the Pope while the pontiff is in the midst of delivering a sermon on St. Peter’s Square. Would Duterte not meet with a trouncing by an angered mass of humanity right then and there?

    This air of reverence was what prevailed certainly in the Asean Summit in Laos when Duterte called Obama a “son of a whore,” as went the reports. It is quite unthinkable that Obama would dismiss the high insult with nary a betrayal of some uncontrollable human impulse at least.

    In the 1960s, a member of the Philippine Senate scored big in the international limelight when he uttered some remark in a session of the United Nations that got USSR Premier Nikita Kruschev riling. Right at the podium of the UN session, Kruschev took his shoe off and flailed it angrily at Sen. Lorenzo Sumulong, the lawmaker who got him feeling utterly insulted.

    Kruschev’s outburst was only human and should be expected, and he was being true to himself at that. Obama’s decorum at Duterte’s badmouthing him in the reverential atmosphere of the Asean Summit indicated he was being, in contrast to Kruschev, untrue to himself. If, then, this were true, then another trueness on the part of Obama must be in place. What is true about Obama’s reaction to Duterte’s supreme irreverence? Did it indicate a high-profile outward civility that would turn out to be its exact opposite once the show of trueness became confined in a clandestine meeting, as LBJ did with FBI moguls and organized crime kingpins on the night previous to the assassination of JFK? If Obama does not engage in such a meeting, then you can bet your bottom dollar, the Obama-Duterte tussle is out to accomplish a truly big agenda.

    What could it be?

    Your guess is, as goes the cliché, as good as mine, though my appraisal of social events is never confined to guesses. It is, rather, an insight that derives its validity from laws of social development that give rise a priori to facts rather than facts giving rise to social development as an aftermath. I did not have facts in 1986 to back my contention that Cory, instead of Marcos, was the US boy in that year’s snap presidential election. With that assessment, I almost implored the top leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines to withdraw its policy of boycott of the election, a policy anchored on the proposition that Marcos was still the candidate being groomed for continuous US lapdogship. But the US Seventh Fleet was on standby on Manila Bay as well as international media meant to be around to cover a big happening. It’s not the riddle of what comes first, the chicken or the egg. Certainly there won’t be any chicken without an egg being hatched. But there won’t be any egg without the chicken laying it? How is that so? That’s social development, giving rise to facts, rather than facts giving rise to social development.

    Given this methodology of evaluating social events, I correctly perceived that Cory, contrary to the Party view, was the US boy agrooming and that Marcos was on the way out. I even put forward the proposal of striking up a modus viviendi with Marcos vis-a-vis the US, the most pragmatic option at the time, considering that despite the demonizing that Ninoy had subjected Marcos to over the past 20 years, the dictator continued to enjoy popular mass support, with the military mostly remaining in his control but for a disgruntled section represented by the YOU (Young Officers Union).

    The point in all this is that the development of social event does not immediately manifest from its outward appearances. On the contrary, such development takes place in a wink of an eye, as goes a Biblical verse, when a series of quantitative developments results in the final single qualitative change.

    On the Obama-Duterte apparent verbal tussle, such a series of quantitative developments is yet to take place completely. But early on, we can tell from inviolable laws of social development where it is all headed for.

    (Continued tomorrow.)


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    1. After Duterte if ever the conspiracy theory becomes true, would it be fair to say that we will be back to being the lapdogs of the USA? And being lapdogs the politicians can again get away with anything such as corruption etc.

    2. Not again. Thirty years of Yellows has brought misery to the ordinary Filipinos. It deprived us of meaningful economic development. Marcos cronies were replaced with new, more rapacious cronies with their own interest protected by restrictive economic laws enshrined in the constitution. The corruption for the past thirty years puts to shame the corruption under Marcos. Debilitating mass poverty and 10 million OFWs, from professionals to domestic helpers have to go out of the country to fend for their families are stark testimonies of EDSA 1 is a failure. It robbed us of meaningful inclusive economic progress.

    3. Frank A. Tucker on

      All of this has the makings of a good novel but there is NOT one word of proof other than a rumor as told by Al Simbulan about an alleged deathbed confession of E. Howard Hunt about an LBJ / CIA directed POTUS John Kennedy assignation. This is PURE conjecture without one ounce of proof.

      The rest of this plot falls apart from here on . . .

    4. Why can’t DU30 bad mouth the Chinese who ceased our territory or 200 EEZ, for sending their citizens and engaged in illegal drugs and fake products.

    5. Ignacio Balbutin on

      of course Sison must be behind all the President’s operandi against the US. He is so beholden with Sison

    6. Simeon E. Anekang on

      Time to be free, without thinking of hurting a “friend or friends” we will explore all the opportunity out there especially ASIAN countries. We must also change our attitude towards China products, they already improve it a lot and look who is buying their product – USA, EU countries, Australia and other develop countries..
      We have to stand up together and support changes.

    7. Is this wishful thinking disguised as serious analysis? Obama is not Joma to Duterte’s Kintanar, and this is most certainly not LBJ vs JFK. Things are a lot more complicated between these two world leaders. Duterte may be the weaker party, but Duterte has aces he can use( dibdib lang kailangan at kitang kita naman na may dibdib siya). By the way, YOU was anti-Cory, and was formed by the Marcos loyalist general Jimmy Zumel to participate in the !989 coup that would have succeeded had the Phantom jet from Clark not intervened. Take note that in an official report to Cory after that coup, it was stated that the PMAers who joined YOU belonged to class ’81 to ’87. The military top brass is now class 81. Will they allow the military to be used again by the yellows? When you say yellows, that includes the Americans( also the NPA and its “leftist allies”). To be fair, if Binay had won, some of Duterte’s boys will be publicly wishing for his early departure too. So is this what its all about, Binay’s loss?

    8. Yellow Media being funded and influenced by the Liberal Party and Yellow cult. Try reading headlines of ABS-cbn, Rappler, Inquirer, who will see the obvious!

    9. Time for Philippines to break the colonial umbilical cord….quickly find more reliable, loyal partners-China and Russia.

      • that’s what we should have been doing. The US has keep us away out of TPP(Trans Pacific Partnership) that includes Australia, New Zealand,Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam. We should align ourselves with the OBOR(One Belt, One Road (Silk road, Silk maritime road)of China. We were trading partners of China ever before the colonist(Spain and US) came to subjugate us. China with its mighty army at that time never colonized any of its surrounding nations but instead peacefully traded with its neighbors,never did China increase its territory. China did not even complain when 300,000 Chinese were massacred and Chinese women were raped in Indonesia in 1998. The Filipinos massacred 60,000 Chinese in 1700’s. The Chinese never complains but instead keep on peacefully trading with us. I support President Digong’s foray into an economic alliance with China, Central Asia, Russia, ASEAN, Pakistan, India, Japan and Taiwan.

    10. What a revelation. I do believe that Duterte is on his way out. There will be many parties involved because he created too many enemies. First very noticeable indication is the rapid withdrawal of foreign investment out of the country and the rapd decline of the value of the peso. There will be something big that will happen in our country. It is what we call Duterte is too hot to handle. I guess it is too late for him to change. Duterte himself acknowledged that he might not finish his 6 year term. Most of his moves are wrong. Sorry to say but 6 years is a very long time. We have not reach 6 months and look what happen.