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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/15/20

The Philippines Are Choosing New Allies -- Asia Is Watching

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Now what? President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is outraged. He wants an end to the U.S. military presence in his country. He wants to curb all cooperation with the U.S. armed forces. He hits hard, talks big. And his people seem to be behind him, no matter what -- his popularity rating is high and rising, now around 87%, which is something unimaginable anywhere else in Southeast Asia, or in the world.

Under a colorful headline on February 7, 2020, "End that son of a b*tch" Duterte confirms "US-Philippines military collaboration agreement is toast' " RT reported:

"Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is "terminating" the Visiting Forces Agreement, which provides legal immunity to US military drills, in retaliation for the US canceling the visa of a political ally and fellow drug-warrior.

"The president said he is terminating the VFA," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told ABS-CBN News on Friday. "I asked for clarification and he said he is not changing his decision." The agreement provides legal immunity for US soldiers conducting military exercises in the Philippines.

Enraged by the US decision to cancel the visa of former police chief and Senator Roland dela Rosa last month, Duterte had given Washington a month to fix its 'mistake,' refusing to back down even as other members of his government urged him to reconsider.

"I'm warning you -- if you won't do the correction on this, I will terminate the -- Visiting Forces Agreement," Duterte said last month, daring the US to call his bluff."

Then few days later, on February 13, 2020, a letter was sent to his country's tormentor and former colonialist master: "The Philippines has notified the United States that a major security pact is over."

Some say, all this is nothing new. The United States, the European Union, and even the United Nations keep attacking President Duterte. He hits back, insults his counter-parts, regularly threatening to kick out the U.S. and its military forces. He personally insults the leaders of Western countries, international organizations and even the Catholic Church which, in the Philippines, used to be untouchable.

Making Western leaders desperate, he calls China "the kindest nation on earth," and he admires Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. In Manila, the Russian leader is now a masculine idol.

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3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments  Post Comment


Patricia 0rmsby

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I am grateful for Andre's insights on Asia, going to the scene and talking to the people. He risks his life to get us the everyman's point of view rather than the concocted narrative that passes for objective reality in the west (generally causing them to say, "it is such a mystery how people could be so mean").

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 3:45:12 AM

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Private Citizen

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Durian can be fermented, fuel can be produced, and the Philippines can be colonized by Trump to protect the durian. Retired G.I's need a cheap place to live. Buy some islands. The Philippines can't possibly use them all! The Philippines is a swell place to install missiles aimed at China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Russia. Why would the Philippines not want to be colonized, and given real tax payer identification numbers? Adopt the little people to #MAGA Make Asia Great Again. Make them all tax-payers, to fund a tall wall no short brown skinned people can scale.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 2:56:00 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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Great article! I both vacationed and worked in the Philippines during the Marcos' regime. I came home with a great respect for Filipinos but was troubled by the colonial attitude toward us Americans. Part of my heart remains in those beautiful islands.

For years, I have been sifting through the news/propaganda about Duterte and his resistance to the US military domination that has oppressed and belittled the Philippines for well over 100 years. The culture there is vastly different from American culture, with many things we could learn from the Filipinos about food, family and many other things; but domination, not cooperation has always been the American goal.

The info in this article rings true to my experiences. I am glad to finally get a clearer picture of the way Duterte is trying to slip the choke collar imposed by US imperialism.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 8:37:14 PM

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