MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ top diplomat defended the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to realign the country’s foreign policy towards an independent track.
“America has failed us. This is at the core message of [Duterte] to the American people and the world,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said in a statement originally posted on his personal Facebook page, which was then shared on the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website.
Yasay noted that the Philippines breaking away from the United States addresses both internal and external security threats.
The Foreign Affairs chief cited the “invisible chains” that reined the country toward dependency and submission to the US as their “little brown brothers not capable of true independence and freedom” even after the recognition of independence on July 4, 1946.
The Philippines’ defensive forces remain incapable of addressing security threats amid the maritime dispute in the South China Sea despite its alliance with the US, Yasay said.
“Worse is that our only ally could not give us the assurance that in taking a hard line towards the enforcement of our sovereignty rights under international law, it will promptly come to our defense under our existing military treaty and agreements,” the Foreign Affairs chief said.
Duterte earlier expressed his intention to end the annual joint military exercises of the Philippines with the US.
Yasay stressed that the president is trying to liberate the country from the “carrot and stick” policy of the US toward the Philippines which forced Filipinos to submit to American interests.
“We will never allow China or any other nation to bully us or deal with Philippine interests under another carrot and stick policy,” Yasay said.
The secretary, however, admitted that the government has serious concerns and challenges in engaging the Chinese to hold bilateral talks to settle the sea dispute in accordance to international law.
“Our past mistakes in fostering and strengthening our friendship with our white big brother will be instructive for this purpose,” Yasay said.
Duterte earlier warned that the Philippines may break its ties with the US. Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the president only made the statement in a desire to “express the independence of the Philippines.”
“It’s not a definite yes, it’s not a definite no. He said he might,” Abella said in a press briefing when asked what the president meant when he mentioned cutting ties with the US.
Some foreign policy analysts, however, are concerned over the administration’s tack in engaging the global community.
Dindo Manhit, president of Stratbase-Albert Del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies, said the what appears to be a foreign policy shift can be deemed insincere.
“By taking such drastic steps, the administration gives the impression of swinging wildly and insincerely instead of taking smaller, but more meaningful steps toward friendly relations. Part of why such steps give the impression of insincerity is that they do not fit into the aforementioned principles for foreign policy,” Manhit wrote on Philstar.com.
He suggests a calibration marked by careful pronouncements that will be meaningful not only to China but to all of the Philippines’ longstanding partners.
“Such care will help the president and his team achieve the Philippines’ foreign policy objectives,” he said.
AMERICA HAS FAILED US. (From https://www.facebook.com/perfectoyasayjr/posts/1436259099723852)
This is at the core of the message of PRRD to the American people and the world. This has also compelled him to realign our foreign policy towards an independent track in pursuing the overriding national interest and in upholding and protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Breaking away from the shackling dependency of the Philippines to effectively address both internal and external security threats has become imperative in putting an end to our nation’s subservience to United States’ interests.
It has been 70 years ago since America acknowledged the hard fought independence of its only colony in Asia after it arrogated our victory in the struggle for freedom from 400 years of Spanish domination. And yet, after proclaiming in July 4, 1946 that the Filipinos had been adequately trained for self determination and governance, the United States held on to invisible chains that reined us in towards dependency and submission as little brown brothers not capable of true independence and freedom.
Yes, there are many significant countless things that we will be forever grateful to America for. But the stark reality is that even in protecting our territorial boundaries and the exclusive use of our maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, our defensive forces remain grossly incapable in meeting the security threats that we face from potential foes, not to mention their stagnating impact on our development. Worse is that our only ally could not give us the assurance that in taking a hard line towards the enforcement of our sovereignty rights under international law, it will promptly come to our defense under our existing military treaty and agreements.
The “carrot and stick” policy of the U.S. towards the Philippines has been effectively used all through the long years since our independence to force Filipinos into submission to American demands and interests.
This is what PRRD is now trying to liberate us from.
Yes, we have serious concerns and challenges with the Chinese as we try to engage them in bilateral talks towards peacefully settling our disputes in accordance with the legal and diplomatic process under international law. Our past mistakes in fostering and strengthening our friendship with our white big brother will be instructive for this purpose.
We will never allow China or any other nation to bully us or deal with Philippine interests under another carrot and stick policy.
But for now the urgent message of PRRD in realigning our independent foreign policy is about the state of our relationship with America and traditional partners. It is principally addressed to American leaders and policy shapers. Are they willing to change their tack in dealing with us to be in sync with geopolitical realities? Does it value our special friendship to save and strengthen it?
Or would it instead choose to ignore our urgent pleas and interject alleged human rights violations and concerns as we address our pressing domestic problems based on our urgent needs and priorities to get what they want?
Dindo Manhit, president of Stratbase-Albert Del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies, posted this on the organization’s website:
“While the President’s mandate to define the country’s approach to foreign relations is unassailable, the administration should nevertheless reconsider its strategy in terms of potentially alienating established economic and security partners. The Philippines should maintain its good relations with trusted friends and pursue constructive relations with all of its neighbors, in both word and deed,” Manhit said, referring to the recent friendly moves by the President to China and Russia while being unfriendly to the EU and the US, which are among the country’s top trading partners,” ADR Institute president Dindo Manhit said.
Tags: ADR Institute, America Has Failed The Philippines, China, Dindo Manhit, Duterte, Ernesto Abella, joint military exercises, Philippines, Philippines Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay, Philippines’ foreign policy, President Rodrigo Duterte, Stratbase-Albert Del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies, U.S., Yasay Says America Has Failed The Philippines