Rodrigo Duterte shocks the USA, and Southeast Asian Neighbours
Today the USA, and most of Southeast Asia was shocked when Rodrigo Duterte, in another bizarre outburst suddenly announced that the Philippines would be aligning with China, and hoping to make business and military alliances with Russia.
“In this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States, both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost. I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world – China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way,” – Rodrigo Duterte
Duterte’s Presidency has been marred with shocking incidents since he took power. Starting a new drug war with vigilantes and bounties on drug dealers and users, murders have skyrocketed. Many of the victims are definitely not involved in drug dealing or use at all; one prominent victim was a Bus Driver that had recently put in a complaint to the local police department, all signs point to a revenge murder on him in his bus. His wife has bravely spoken to international media about this, and his case is not unusual.
Duterte has said even more shocking things than Donald Trump so far, in April of this year referring to a 1989 prison riot in Davao where an Australian missionary was raped and had her throat slashed by the inmates; amongst many other victims, says he was “joking” when he said..
“she looks like a beautiful American actress. What a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste”
He has insulted President Barack Obama’s mother, and the Pope’s too; the Philippines is one of the most populous Catholic countries. He used homophobic slurs against Ambassador Phillip Goldberg and insulted his mother too.
“I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there, so time to say goodbye my friend.” – Rodrigo Duterte
The United States is apparently baffled at his decision and speeches, Duterte has been increasingly hostile to the USA as they criticise many of his human rights abuses.
“The U.S.-Philippine alliance is built on a 70-year history, rich people to people ties and a long list of shared security concerns,” – Eric Schultz, White House spokesman
China is quite pleased with this outcome, and are probably already making plans to cooperate further on their territorial ambitions on the South China Sea.
“I hope we can follow the wishes of the people and use this visit as an opportunity to push China-Philippines relations back on a friendly footing and fully improve things,” – Chinese President Xi Jinping
“The two sides agreed that they will do what they agreed five years ago, that is to pursue bilateral dialogue and consultation in seeking a proper settlement of the South China Sea issue,” Liu Zhenmin – Chinese Vice Foreign Minister
Some columnists are concerned that this could be seen as a precursor to World War, where many countries will quickly align with the powers they see fit as the possible winners of any world war, if there could be such a thing with the state of modern weaponry.
If two large opposing interests do align, it is generally a bad sign; the relationship between Russia and the United States has not been this strained since the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Yom Kippur War and even the Cold War itself.
A massive Russian Naval fleet is on their way to Syria to reinforce their already massive military presence there. U.S. Navy ships have been fired upon by rebel groups, and there have been many incidents this year of almost-attacks and threats, radar lock ons and similar “bullying” which can lead to sudden war if pilots take the warnings seriously. Similar incidents have occurred around the South China Sea as U.S., Australian airforce and navy ships have been outright threatened by Chinese radio operators, and anti aircraft missile systems.
The United States has not received any official word or change in alliances and treaties from the Philippines… As yet.