New path charted by Duterte prompts Filipinos to rethink their place in the world

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If there is one thing Filipinos learned so far about their country it is this: The Philippines is, it seems, an important country in global politics. Up until now, Filipinos have seen their country as some sort of diplomatic third wheel — one that is in a perpetual crisis of relevance; a mere afterthought. It was not until current President Rodrigo Duterte rose to power that Filipinos have had an opportunity to re-think their place in the world stage at a truly fundamental level.

That Duterte could brazenly antagonise (or be made out by the media to be antagonistic towards) not just the United States, but also the European Union, and even the Pope himself and not suffer any significant fallout proves that his is a country that cannot be readily marginalised. Indeed, Duterte’s going against the Philippines’ long diplomatic tradition of pandering to the West and then “pivoting” (the media’s words) into the Chinese sphere of influence potentially putting at risk its “friendly” and “special” relationship with the U.S. has yielded an unexpected outcome. In his recently-concluded trip to China, he was welcomed with warm pomp and open arms. Following that, his trip to Japan — which itself has a standing dispute with China over territory in the East China Sea and is a close ally of the U.S. — exhibited no reservations in welcoming Duterte with equal warmth.

Indeed, the much-touted “legal victory” over China supposedly won in The Hague by Duterte’s predecessor, former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, had chilled relationships with China and resulted in direct consequences to ordinary Filipinos — particularly those who make a living fishing in disputed waters. More importantly, a foreign policy hinged on capitalising on this ruling (and the expected backing of the Philippines’ traditional “ally”, the U.S.), offered little option or opportunity for China to save face. Perhaps this is the most valuable thing Duterte had, in the manner with which he approached repairing relations with China that had frayed under Aquino’s watch, offered to China: a gracious way for both parties out of what would have been the intractable stalemate over the South China Sea on the back of the ruling “won” in The Hague.

If we are to believe reports emerging that China had, since Duterte’s visit, stopped chasing Filipino fishing vessels from Scarborough Shoal, it could be said that Duterte’s moves are bearing fruit. Observers theorise that there is headway being made in Duterte’s steering the Philippines into new diplomatic avenues with China in reducing the latter’s belligerence in the South China Sea. According to a TIME report, experts expect Beijing to, for now, desist in taking any further “game-changing moves” now that Duterte has taken a more “conciliatory” stand on behalf of the Philippines.

But Duterte scores his biggest wins in the domestic public relations front. Duterte’s groundbreaking defiance of U.S. hegemony over the foreign, military, and economic affairs of its former colony have won hearts amongst a people who have for so long lived under the shadow of their ego-crushing colonial history. That plus the opening of Filipinos’ minds to the, until now, counterintuitive notion of Duterte taking the Philippines back home to Asia has opened up a new well of renewed sense of identity and of national pride. Indeed, ordinary Filipinos can only regard their country’s relationship with its former colonial master within the context of foreign economic and military aid. Duterte tables a more stringent, and more confronting, standard of true independence, freedom from foreign aid. So far, Filipinos’ continued embrace of the new path is promising.

That is not to say this new path will be an easy one. Filipinos still overwhelmingly love America and there is much to consider in any change in whatever “special” relationship with the U.S.

Personal and cultural relations run deep, despite the terrible beginning based on American military repression. Over the years Washington has provided nearly ten times the development assistance as China. Last year Filipinos sent about $8 billion back home from America in remittances, ten times the amount from China, Hong Kong, and Macao combined.

Also, given Duterte’s rather disturbing track record of back-pedalling on earlier off-the-hip public statements, there is still reason to remain cautious about embracing too much change. Duterte’s government will have to demonstrate that it has a coherent framework on which to map out a long-term strategy to guide consistent delivery of results over the next six years.

As such, for now, it is business as usual for the ordinary Filipino…

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

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46 Comments on “New path charted by Duterte prompts Filipinos to rethink their place in the world”

  1. “If there is one thing Filipinos learned so far about their country it is this: The Philippines is, it seems, an important country in global politics”: you must be joking… can’t stop laughing. How someone can seriously say that about one of the deepest shit hole on earth?

    1. Thats because we are strategically located at a main trade waterway. We stand to deny the west of all Chinese trade with our say so. So yes, America just realized just how important we are to them and to the west.

  2. “deepest shit hole on earth”..
    That’s exactly what the US wants Filipinos to think, and seems to be successful. Filipinos still don’t see the importance of our strategic location. US has seen it long before the WWII and has been using it in exchange of “friendship”. It’s about time we use it to our advantage and benefits.

    1. The reality is that if The Philippines did not have good ports (and in 1898, lots of natural resources), America never would have accepted this places as part of the spoils of the end of the Spanish American War.

      The only reason the American Government is the least bit concerned about this mismanaged pile of rocks is because of the ports and location in the shipping lanes.

      Except for those things, no country would ever care what happens here. This place ranks alongside North Korea and Zimbabwe for being worthless places.

      The jury is still out on Du30 and will remain so until government agencies function properly and infrastructure starts to improve.

      1. Americans always think they are the greatest nation on earth and that they are such fine people. Laughable and idiotic. Americans are in general loud mouthed and frighteningly uneducated. I have a lot of friends, from many countries, and let me state this clearly, no one likes Americans.

        – The U.S. has 20 times more murders than the developed world average.
        – The U.S. is also the only developed country that executes prisoners.
        – America imprisons 716 people per 100,000 citizens (of any age).
        – A 2013 study found that in many American counties, especially in the deep South, life expectancy is lower than in Algeria, Nicaragua or Bangladesh.
        – The U.S. is among only three nations in the world that does not guarantee paid maternal leave.
        – The US infrastructure is dilapidated and studies estimate that the infrastructure system needs a $3.6 trillion investment over the next six years. One in nine U.S. bridges (or 66,405 bridges) are considered “structurally deficient”. In South Dakota, Alaska and Pennsylvania, water is still transported via century-old wooden pipes.
        – Some 45 percent of Americans lack access to public transit.

        Should I go on?

        So, seriously, fuck America.

        1. @ DE GRIZZLY, The USA is what the Philippines wishes it was, a first rate, first world, super-power. Peole comment on the debt, but so what? Who else could ever possibly owe $20Trillion $$$ and keep borrowing money? in the Philippines most people can not even get a car loan. In the USA,even if you have bad credit you can get a car loan rather easily.

          FACE IT, you just wish you were an American citizen and that you lived there instead of the cesspool you are currently swimming in: The PHAIL-IPPINES.I MEAN REALLY? Wanna talk about dilapidated roads? Talk about travelling 50 miles and it taking 6 hours because the roads suck? Your just a jealous old sour puss.EEWWW!

      2. IMHO the Philippines cannot be considered as spoils of war if the US have to pay for it, $20 million ($569,840,000 today) from what I know.

        1. @Ass

          If you think I would give up my European passport for an American, you must be nuts.

          I have the feeling it is YOU who desperately wants the US citizenship.

          Won’t even reply to the other dense examples you posted.

  3. A coherent Foreign Policy of neutrality of the Philippines, should be implemented/devised. We don’t align ourselves in the “cold wars” of the two super powers: Russia and the U.S. We should cut our “umbilical cord” , from the U.S. We are no longer a colony… we refuse to be used as shield by the U.S., to prevent wars/conflicts to go to their country…

    China is emerging economic and military super power. We cannot ignore this trend; because China is our neighbor. Japan is also re-emerging as a military power. Japan is an economic power. These two countries are our neighbors…the U.S. , is busy with its troubles in meddling with other countries; especially in the Middle East; because of the oil…the political contributors of both their political parties, demand this meddling…to control the oil business…

    The only way to go is : Neutrality…

    “When “Elephants” fight; the “Ant” must set aside…” a good Asian leader once stated…

    Having good relations with all countries; irrespective of their : political, religious, cultural ideologies, is a good move !

    Look at Sweden and Switzerland; they avoided wars and conflicts, for many years…

    We are 100 million; and we have to develop economically. We have also to be self reliant in our military capabilities and defense!

    We are outraged on the U.S. meddling in our internal affairs , using the YellowTards as their clandestine stooge!

    1. So, who is going to be YOUR protector if you “cut the umbilical” with America? You don’t manufacture, invent or sell anything so what happens when China simply imposes large fees for goods going to Philippines and everything you buy costs 5 times as much as it does now? That is all China needs to do to bring you to your knees because you don’t buy from anyone else. China can well afford to lose this country as a cur but YOU cannot afford to piss off China economically. You have no power whatsoever as the ant in the war among elephants.

        1. As always, a Westerner who wants to play the white knight like in their hollywood movies.

          Hey Mr. American superman batman, come ‘protect’ us! Haha

      1. The Philippines is better off by staying neutral and self sufficient. Judging from the recent decisions and actions of Duterte, this is where the country is headed.

        Hah! Protector….., the US have been using this to meddle with the country’s affairs, and frankly, it is good to have Duterte, to show everybody that there is another way to look at things.

      2. @Jerry Lynch :

        We protect ourselves, by being friends to everybody…not taking sides…

        The U.S. did not protect us; they sacrificed us during World War II. Remember the thousand ships convoy ; during the Battle of Bataan ? A false hope, to deceive the defenders of Bataan, to fight to their death… Our country was devastated…many of our soldiers died and many suffered…the U.S. had only a few warships sunk in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii… China is our neighbor. We have a long time trade relations with China, even before the Spaniards came. Relations based on honesty , fair play and good will! The Chinese traders consigned their goods to the ancient Filipinos; on the deal , that they will pay on the next harvest…the ancient Filipinos fulfilled their debt obligations ,by paying, on the next harvests…no taking advantage of each other !

        Asian culture rely on your “face” and “words” for binding a deal…

        If you lose your “face” and “words”..no one will deal with you !

        Americans use deception and taking advantage of countries…this is the reason, they have trouble everywhere !

        We have power on our own , by not participating , and not aligning ourselves with the conflicts of the super powers !

        Protection of the U.S. is a Myth…they protect their own interests and themselves; Not Us !

        1. What annoyed me during the Japanese invasion war in the country, which needless to say, a war that was brought by America to the Philippines. Japan attacked the Philippines 4 hours after Pearl Harbor, because of the presence of the US military base in the country.

          When the Japanese successfully captured the country, they asked for prisoners. But guess what President Roosevelt ordered? He ordered Gen. McArthur to surrender Filipino troops to the Japanese, as in, Filipino troops “ONLY”, and not the American troops.

          Anak ng…..

        2. @HT, that BULL-SHIT BUDDY, During Typhoon HAIYAN…WHO CAME TO THE RESCUE? THE USA, you have a short memory, as a typical Flip-tard its no surprise BUT THE USA will protect the Philippines in tie of war.When Aquino was nearly removed in a Military coup in 1990(?) the USA came to the gov’ts rescue(yes,say it would have been better off, but back then the Filipino’s appreciated it!).When Mt. Pinatubo erupted,who came to the Philippines rescue? THE USA DID, not frikkin CHINA !!! Ya dummy.

  4. If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.

    1. @ Julian Assange:

      Typical of a U.S. stupid troll. Praising themselves, because they came for help and for the rescue…

      We don’t want your help, if you attach it with the STRINGS of meddling in our internal affairs.

      The U.S. had stolen our natural resources (gold, etc…), for many years, thru the Laurel-Langley Agreement.

      We can live without your aid…let the Filipinos live free, and decide their own destiny !

  5. That Duterte could brazenly antagonise (or be made out by the media to be antagonistic towards) not just the United States, but also the European Union, and even the Pope himself and not suffer any significant fallout proves that his is a country that cannot be readily marginalised.

    Alternatively, you can interpret that lack of significant fallout as the Philippines being too petty a threat to warrant any serious action, no?

      1. @Jerry Lynch:

        If that is what you think of us, Filipinos. Why not go back to your country ? We don’t need people like you here…

        You are a guest here; and you are insulting us ! You are very rude, and abuse our hospitality !

        1. @ HT HOSPITALITY? Filipino’s are shown EVERY courtesy abroad:USA/EU/Australia, basically EVERYWHERE…and all Foreigners get when the come to the country is scammed,robbed and treated like awalking talking ATM machine A/K/A= S/H/I/T !!! SO F/U/C/K/ Y/O/U w/your HOSPITALITY BS buddy.

          Ever apply for a 13A visa? it cost foreigners over $500/EU400/GBP375 at least and as for me…I PAID THAT BRIBE AND NEVER EVEN RECEIVED THE VISA. Driver’s license fee’s are DOUBLED for Foreigner’s as well, Filipino’s are NEVER exploited like that Oversea’s,NEVER !!

          SO BACK OFF THE FLIP ROUTINE BUDDY, YOU ABUSE FOREIGNER’s NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND !!!

        1. @Foreign Ex-pat :

          Do not come to our country. We don’t need complainers here…

          Did we invite you to come ?

      2. So you are just whoring here after all? How much you pay for a night? or do you pay or not? How many illegitimate child you have, Sir? You don’t care for Filipino’s so You must starved them then?

        1. @Foreign Ex-pat

          if you paid a bribe for a visa you never got, then I say good. Because you are just as guilty as the guy who asked for a bribe. That aside, why bribe if you can easily do it the legal way. I think there is either something wrong with you or with the people you surround yourself with.

          Your statement about the drivers license is a LIE. I am a Foreigner and I pay the exact same amount as a Filipino.

          Maybe you are just a really gullible person.

          A sucker is born every day.

  6. Do Filipino’s want to rethink their place in the world? Well hoiw about looking at the bottom of a toilet, and there you will see where the entire country,except the 1%, is…at the bottom of the toilet!
    Filipino’s are on this trip where they seem to thik they somehow matter, and they do not. THE USA doesn’t need the Military bese’s in the Philippines,THEY DON’T ! They have hige base’s in Guam,Japan and Australia! Flip’s give themselves this over-blown importance that doesn’t exist. Duterte is going to cozy up tp a country that despise’s Filipino’s and slam the door on the USA/EU? GO AHEAD MORON, kiss 10% of the GDP of the entire country from OFW good-bye when they get eported back from the Western countries that have welcomed them and given them better paying jibs than what Chinese noodle-earning slaves make.

    TYPICAL FLIP’s bite the hand that feeds them.

    1. Hey Foreign Ex-crap: Oh we can’t wait for most of us to see the downfall of America in a few more days after they vote for either cartoonish and scandalous candidates America has for their president, haha (cough cough Trump or Clinton, Trumpton or Clump, lols).

      Put this into your head, America will never get back to its former glory and power not until most of them keep on putting ghastly candidates to rule. The world is watching and most people around the world and in most countries are either chuckling or cringing on who will win the elections (most of us agree, the end is near for USA, lols).

      Prepare for the worse; we might as well bite the hand that feeds us if we see that hand is abusing us all along and (we know) is nearing its eventual doom. Bye lover America, it’s been great to know you, but you’re just too old now and underwhelming, we’re seeking out new lovers who are willing to engage us (since that’s what you’re insinuating and believing, so we’ll play along with your “so called” logic).

      Hahaha… the downfall of America. Hohoho. Pathetic. Kiss you good-bye back as you sink to your quagmire of doom. Hohoho. Merry Christmas in advance, douche.

      Pana-panahon lang yan Foreign Ex-Crap.

  7. New place in the WORLD? Tell us all, WHERE WOULD THAT BE,EXACTLY?
    The Philippines is a 3RD World Banana Republic slum.Its GDP is in the sewer and about as high as Bangladesh. It has no manufacturing capacity,tourists that do go there NEVER want to return unless they get hooked up with a spouse.Foreigner’s can not own land and are treated horrendously,getting a business license is a bribe riddled mess, even landing at an airport in the hell-hole can get something illegal planted in your suitcase.The one part of the economy that has appreciated in recent years is call centers and that is just as big a dead-end job as owning a sori-sori store (You’ll be sori!).

    SO EXACTLY, WHAT IS THE PHILIPPINES NEW PLACE IN THE WORLD?
    How has it gone from being a 3RD World Banana Republic to something else in less than a year?Duterte has taken back his ‘cutting ties to America’ since he made that remark and if he thinks the USA needs the Failippines ,he is just wrong. South Korea,Japan,Australia all have massive US Miltary posts and if Duterte is playig the old,super-power vs. super-power game, the USA will let China have it. Less foreign aid to dole out and just for shits and giggles:Lets see who Duterte calls next time a Typhoon hits the country….I WANNA SEE EXACTLY WHO DUTERTE WILL CALL….it will not be his own resources because there aren’t any,so…..

    PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME!

    1. @Foreign Ex-Pat/Snuffy Smith:

      You are a paid troll of Aquino and his cahoots.

      Why are you meddling in our internal affairs ? This is our country…it may be the worst country, in your view. But, it is our country. We do not meddle in your country… Why come here, and dictate to us, what we want to do, and what we want to be ?…

      We can do anything in our country. We ask all foreigners to refrain from interfering in our decisions; and in our country…

      If we make deals with any Devil, so be it ! It is better than the U.S. , dancing with the Devil; if it promotes its interests.

      I believe you have ULTERIOR MOTIVES in your tendency to dictate us…or you are really a PAID HACK of Aquino, Mar Roxas, Leni Robredo and their cahoots…

      You are just wasting your time , here !

      1. LOL, YOU REALLY THINK AQUINO GIVES A SHIT WHAT IS WRITTEN HERE? The guy is a Millionaire ,many times over,and doesn’t give a shit about GRP or anything it has to say.

        1. Julian Assange:

          You are not the WIKILEAK guy, who leaked the stink of the U.S. ? Assange is now missing, because, he leaked the stink of Hilary Clinton’s emails…

          Aquino, may had paid you to troll here in GRP. Aquino is a thief on the grandest scale. Aquino cares only for himself…
          “he does not care”…as per his troll.

          To hell with you both !

        2. GRP has been telling and pointing out ever since what is wrong with the country and what has never been addressed by AQUINO and his ilk during his presidency.

          You said it truthfully: he doesn’t give a shit and that’s why nothing significant solution and long-lasting change was accomplished for the past 6 years. Lols. That’s presidency for you, Aquino ain’t got no shit nor balls to do anything and just keeps on playing Playstations or XBox, haha.

          Pathetic really just like your logic, haha.

          And oh your surname does really fit you, hahaha, hohoho.

          Keep up your comments like this along with Snuffy the Pinoy Slayer to entertain us. We’re just munching popcorn here waiting for your entertaining but inane words ready for us to shoot down. Hohoho.

  8. I am American, just shut down my company and returned to America. Philippines is a disaster on so many levels, and the arrogance over nothing is amazing. Too many of your people are dishonest, greedy, and only care about themselves. The Subic Bay Freeport Zone perfectly reflects the country. Because of Philippine arrogance and greed the US was forced out of the Freeport Zone and it declined into disrepair a barely functioning local economy…only propped up by money brought in by foreigners. Anything the Filipinos themselves touched there failed. Fast forward 20+ years later…the Fil arrogance has grown, SBMA’s government is a joke with a barangay captain now running the place (and his “team” of 25+ parasites who are going to steal everything they can)…and the foreigners are pulling out their money and leaving. The Subic Int’l airport is a joke, no operating radios or approaches, and requires 3 days for landing approval. The largest company at the airport will be gone within 12 months. Meanwhile the arrogant Fils are so excited about kicking about the Americans and think Chinese will replace the westerners…good luck with that. China looks down on Philippines more than any other country, they already flood Philippines with drugs, and will use and abuse Philippines however they like with the clown-president’s blessing. Good luck, and yes, he is a clown. Bold steps to improve a country are one thing, this guy is a disaster and history will show that to be true.

    1. Good. Tell your own gov’t to fix investment conditions in your own country so you wouldn’t have to outsource for cost cutting. Hire local workers and pay them appropriate salaries.
      And tell your gov’t to stop meddling using false concerns and then go destroying other countries.

      1. Haha another in the clown ranks. The US is god for investment…its our corporate greed that is causing outsourcing. Killing 40+ a day fake drug dealers and users is false concerns? The US is also one of the few countries that keeps the world civil. What has Philippines done for anyone but themselves? NOTHING! And never will. For some reason your stupid lazy ranks are always looking for someone else to come in and rescue you. How about you clean up your own BS and fix yourselves…but that will never happen. Your ruling class who own everything will never let that happen.

        1. Go ahead, laught it off. Look at your bizarre election situation with bigger clowns and crooks posing as legitimate candidates while the credible ones are cast off.
          “The US is god for investment…its our corporate greed that is causing outsourcing.” -That’s the point. What you have is corporatocracy. You don’t have a solid economic foundation. And don’t you turn that argument against the PH. Remember, the US is an investment god you say? We’re not claiming that kind of fantasy.
          “The US is also one of the few countries that keeps the world civil.” That’s the most disturbing joke I’ve heard in years. Tell us with a straight face that what your gov’t does in the Middle East is fully justifiable up to this point.
          You know what, it’s really pointless to argue with an average willfully ignorant American. It’s a waste of energy. You don’t have any idea about the real world. You live in “the land of the free” which is essentially a bubble.

        2. The US is god for investment

          Lols. This. Made. Me. Laugh. Lols.

          As if you are the only country capable of doing great investments.

          The US is also one of the few countries that keeps the world civil.

          And this is just epic nonsense that is so laughable, rolf. How many countries had you been bombing for years and killing innocent lives who are not really engaging in wars with you (and just plainly calling them “collateral damage”). Wow, the audacity of such a Beavis clown.

          By the way, I prefer Butthead than Beavis, he’s way cooler than you, lols.

        3. And like his name, Beavis is a slow learner, albeit has a tiny brain that can pass a needle’s eye.

          Just read what he just mentioned here. Lols. Epic logic here especially US keeping the world “civil”. Hahaha. I’m laughing my ass off now from such stupidity.

    2. Beavis, you never owned a company here and I think you are not even American.

      Take your fairytale stories somewhere else.

    3. Utter morons like Beavis here and his majority ilk Americans voted moronically for their Trump, haha. What a moronic group of people still existing in this world.

      Enjoy your president American(s), haha. We’re all laughing at you all.

      Losers!

  9. @Beavis:

    “The U.S. is god in investment”…

    “The U.S. is one of the few countries, that makes the world civil”.

    The U.S. acts as the Policeman of
    the world.

    Its Wall Street people contributes to both candidates of their parties. Political decisions are determined by these “Wall Streets gods”…Remember the :” Greed is good ” “It works” mantra?

    Petro Politics is a good example…Al Queda , which originated in Saudi Arabia, brought down the World Trade Center, killing thousands of American…however, the U.S. , cannot do anything on Saudi Arabia…

    This is the reason the U.S. is an imperialist. However, Iran had outsmarted them…Obama recently paid to Iran U.S. $1.7 billion in Euro currency cash; carried by an unmarked plane, at the dead of the night… this maybe a hostage deal…we don’t know.

    The U.S. is bogged down in: Afghanistan, Lybia, Iraq , Syria, Yemen, etc…

    They bombed innocent people, at will, and do not care how many people they killed …maybe, bombing and murdering innocent people, makes the world “civil” !

    Did you not learned your lessons in Vietnam ?

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