Philippine President Duterte Often Contradicts Himself on Foreign Affairs — Duterte on military alliances: Do we really need America?

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A US Air Force Osprey unloads Philippine Marines during live fire drills on the last day of the 2014 Balikatan joint military exercises in Crow Valley, Capas, Tarlac. JOVEN CAGANDE, file
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MANILA, Philippines — A week after saying he would eventually break up with the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte declared that he would not cut military ties with allies even as he asked whether such partnerships are still needed in a time of powerful weapons and equipment.
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The Philippines under Duterte has had an uncomfortable relationship with its traditional ally the US because of the administration’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people.
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The US has called out Duterte on the alleged summary executions of drug suspects, a move that drew the ire of the tough-talking Philippine leader.
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Duterte accused the US of embarrassing him and of meddling in the Philippines’ internal problems and has threatened to end all military exercises between Manila and Washington.
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Despite his tiff with the US, Duterte has previously said he would not cut the Philippines’ “umbilical cord” with its allies.
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Closer ties with China, Russia
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Duterte, however, appeared to have changed tone last week when he said he would reconfigure his foreign policy and might eventually break up with America. He also vowed to seek closer ties with China and Russia, countries that are perceived to be rivals of the US.
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The president seemed to have changed his tone again Tuesday as he clarified that he would not cut military ties with the Philippines’ allies. He, however, appeared to have doubts about the need for alliances at all.
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“I do not mean to cancel or abrogate the military alliances but let me ask you: Do you really think we need it? If there is a war? If we engage in skirmishes, do you think we really need America?” Duterte said after the oath-taking of new appointees in Malacañang.
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“Do we need China and Russia — for that matter, do we need somebody? If they fight, if they launch ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) or Poseidon (either a type of US military aircraft or a discontinued US ballistic missile), there will be no more American aid to talk of. There will no more be a country strong enough to rule,” he added.
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“When that time comes, we won’t need anything but a priest. If you want, you can recite the mi ultimo adios (National hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s ‘My Last Farewell’).”
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Duterte said US should watch its “arrogance” as Russian President Vladimir Putin gets what he wants.
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“Let’s not make any mistake. If he wants something, he will really get it. He wanted Crimea and he simply went there to occupy it. America was not able to do anything,” the president said.
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In March 2014, the Crimean government declared its independence from Ukraine. Crimea later voted in a referendum to join the Russian Federation. Russia has since annexed the former Ukranian territory.
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“So let us go for alliances that would contribute to health, to education, if there’s a world out there waiting for our children. Otherwise, we need to protect them,” he added.
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Officials previously claimed that Duterte does not intend to antagonize the US but was merely emphasizing the need for the Philippines to pursue a more independent foreign policy.
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Duterte continued with his anti-US rhetoric Tuesday, criticizing the superpower for allegedly imposing its will on the Philippines.
“America, I’m serving notice to you. I cannot tolerate your style wherein you just order us around if they want to,” he said.
Duterte lashed out at the US anew for the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police.
“Tell us why is there now a great divide between the blacks and the (whites). That’s your issue but nobody can question that. Nobody has ever heard (anyone) demanding (an) investigation by the Human Rights (Council) of the United Nations,” he said.
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UN condemns gun violence, police brutality in the US
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The United Nations has, in fact, criticized the US for instances of police brutality in the past.
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“The Working Group is outraged and strongly condemns the new police killings of two African-American men. These killings which were captured on video cannot be ignored. We call for prompt independent investigations to ensure the perpetrators are prosecuted and punished,” human rights expert Ricardo Sunga III of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said in July after two died at the hands of police in Louisiana.
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the killings of police officers in Dallas in July.
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“There is no justification for such violence. Those responsible compounded the suffering that many in the United States feel following the killing of two African-American men over two days. Those killings must be the subject of a thorough and impartial investigation,” Ban’s spokesperson said.
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In September 2015, the US accepted 44 recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council on eliminating racial discrimination and addressing the excessive use of police force. It also said it would support another 20 recommendations “in part” and rejected one, according to an Al Jazeera report.
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Duterte: I do not mean to cancel military alliances
But in the same speech, Duterte belittles the value of military alliances warns US not to be ‘arrogant’
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INDEPENDENT PH. President Duterte reiterates his intention to make the Philippines less dependent on foreign powers. File photo by ACE MORANDANTE/ Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines  – After calling for an end to United States and Philippines joint military exercises and saying US troops in Mindanao should pull out, President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not “mean” to cancel military alliances.

“I do not mean to cancel or abrogate the military alliances,” said Duterte on Tuesday, October 11, during the oath-taking of government officials in Malacañang Palace.

But right after this statement, he wondered out loud if the Philippines needs these military partnerships in the first place.

But tanungin ko kayo (But let me ask you). Do you really think we need it? If there is a war? Magka upakan (If there is a war), do you think we really need America? And do we need China and Russia, for that matter? Or do we need somebody” asked Duterte.

The Philippine president previously vowed to pursue an “independent foreign policy.” His speeches of late have been peppered with insults against the US and praises for China and Russia.

In his Tuesday speech, Duterte warned the US that Chinese and Russian leaders won’t be bullied.

Xi Jin Ping, Putin

Bantay silang – itong arrogance ng American. Xi Jin Ping, lalo na si Putin, talagang – ‘Wag tayo magkamali diyan,” he said, referring to Chinese President Xi Jin Ping and Russian President Vladimir Putin who he has professed a preference for.

(They should watch out – the arrogance of America, Xi Jin Ping, especially Putin – Let’s not make an error there.)

Duterte said of Putin: “Pag ginusto niya, kunin talaga niya. He wanted Crimea, he simply went there to occupy it. Ang America walang nagawa.” (If he wants something, he will get it. He wanted Crime, he simply went there to occupy it. America could do nothing.)

Duterte seemed to say that at the end of the day, no military alliance will help the Philippines during a world war, and so less dependence on other nations is the better approach.

Pag nagbiraan ‘yan lahat at nagbitawan ‘yang ICBMS pati ‘yung mga Poseidon lahat na, there will be no more American aid to talk of. There will no more be a country strong enough to rule. Pag magdating ‘yan, wala tayong kailangan kundi ‘yung pari kung gusto mo lang mag ultimo adios. Is there such a thing as a 3rd world war? Ah kalokohan,” he said.

(When everyone releases their missiles, there will be no more American aid to talk of. There will no more be a country strong enough to rule. If it reaches that point, we won’t need anything but a priest if you want to say your final goodbye. Is there such a thing as a 3rd world war? That’s nonsense.)

Duterte would thus rather pursue alliances in other less contentious sectors.

“So let us go for alliances that would contribute to the health, to the education, if there’s a world out there waiting for our children. Otherwise, we need to protect them,” he said.

Previously, Duterte claimed China and Russia have offered the Philippine government deals on the purchase of defense assets. He had instructed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to buy military equipment from these countries.

In the same speech, Duterte praised China for helping fund a dormitory for drug addicts supposedly nearing completion in Fort Magsaysay, a large military camp in Nueva Ecija. – Rappler.com

http://www.rappler.com/nation/148871-duterte-do-not-cancel-military-alliances

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“Be Careful What You Wish For”

A few snaps of “Public Housing” in Hong Kong these days:

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 Some of Hong Kong’s poorest live in the tiny confines of subdivided flats.Photo taken June 2016
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*Seventy-seven- year-old Yeung Ying Biu eats next to the cage, measuring 1.5 square metres, he calls home in Hong Kong. Source: AP (2014)

Hong Kong: There is growing public rage over the city’s housing crisis.

 

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One Response to “Philippine President Duterte Often Contradicts Himself on Foreign Affairs — Duterte on military alliances: Do we really need America?”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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