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FISHERY ACCORDS IN SEA DISPUTE WILL BE TAKEN UP 'IF RAISED' BY CHINA's PRESIDENT IN ONE-ON-ONE TALK -DU30 SAID
[RELATED
Duterte now in China]
[RELATED(2): Philippines to sign $13.5B in deals with China]

[RELATED(3): China - Philippine bilateral talks over sea dispute to resume]


OCTOBER 19 -In this Sept. 8, 2016 file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarata, Indonesia. Presidential Communications Office
 Whether Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping talk about Scarborough Shoal in their first meeting in Beijing, the specter of the triangular-shaped coral reef 124 nautical miles west of Zambales looms large in this landmark visit that signals the rekindling of relations between the two Asian countries severely strained with the filing of the suit before the Hague tribunal by the previous administration of Benigno Aquino III. A Malacañang source said Duterte will take up the South China Sea issue “if raised” in his four-eyes meeting with Xi on October 20. He will not initiate to raise the issue of the arbitral ruling but will respond if mentioned. However, his key message on the matter of Scraborough shoal will be asserting the fishing rights of Filipinos there, but while this is his wish “he will listen and will not make any imposition on the Chinese side.” READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte now in China,,, .RELATED(2) Philippines to sign $13.5B in deals with China...RELATED(3), China: Philippine bilateral talks over sea dispute to resume..

ALSO: Rody visit seen to strengthen Philippines-China trade, political ties
[RELATED: PH-Sino games ruled out - Duterte changes tack to avoid provocations]


OCTOBER 21 -Chinese Premier Li Keqiang welcomes President Duterte at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES
SUZHOU – Delegates and organizers of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meeting being held in this southeastern Chinese city are optimistic that the visit of President Duterte in Beijing will further strengthen ties between the two countries. ACC secretary general Yang Xiuping, a former ambassador to Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, yesterday said the Philippines and China are traditional allies and Duterte’s visit “will spike not only the trade between the two countries but also the political realignments.” Yang, however, refused to comment on the possible outcome of the visit and its political implications on both China and the Philippines with regard to the latter’s volatile relationship with the United States. READ MORE... RELATED, PH-Sino games ruled out - Duterte changes tack to avoid provocations ...

ALSO COURTING A GIANT: ‘Separation’ anxiety' at PH Congress
[RELATED: Cabinet members scramble to interpret Duterte’s words]
[RELATED ANALYSIS: Duterte’s historic, mind-boggling break from the past]


OCTOBER 22 -...Seaator Juan Ponce Enrile, a former defense secretary, said forging a military alliance with China would have ramifications in other nations, like Japan, which is at odds with China. He said severing ties with the United States would also have a “reverberatory impact” in international institutions, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization. READ FROM THE BEGINNING... RELATED, Cabinet members scramble to interpret Duterte’s words... RELATED(2) Duterte’s historic, mind-boggling break from the past...

ALSO: No military alliance, joint exploration with China
[RELATED: Criticism of drug war contributed to foreign policy shift, Duterte says]


OCTOBER 20 -President Duterte gestures to a crowd of well-wishers as he and members of the Philippine delegation together with Chinese officials led by Ambassador Zhao Jianhua walk along Wangfujing street on their way to the Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing yesterday.
BEIJING – President Duterte may have decided to stop the war exercises between the Philippines and the US, but he is also not keen on pursuing a military alliance with China or with any other country “to avoid adding fuel” to what he described as a “volatile” world. Duterte also ruled out discussions on joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea during his four-day state visit here. In a press briefing, the President said the Philippines would not meddle in brewing conflict among some countries because it would not promote anything positive. “There will be no military alliances entered into. There will be no military alliances broken. What I am just saying is that we are not interested in adding fuel to what is already a volatile world,” he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Criticism of drug war contributed to foreign policy shift, Duterte says...

ALSO: GMA, allies seek revival of JMSU on disputed sea
[RELATED: Defense chief Lorenzana wants scaled down war games]
(“If the President is really intent on what he is telling the media, I think I will recommend the scaling down of [the military] exercises next year,” Lorenzana said. Duterte last month announced that there would be no more joint PH-US war games after the Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise or Phiblex)
[RELATED(2): Arroyo may boost US-PH ties in Clinton win – analyst]


OCTOBER 20 -Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies are backing the Duterte administration’s plan to invite China for a joint exploration at the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines at the West Philippine Sea. A joint exploration deal between the Philippines, China and Vietnam was crafted in 2005 during the administration of then President Arroyo. The joint exploration called the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) on islands located 142,886 square kilometers west of Palawan, all of which are located within the Philippines’ 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The JMSU, however, lapsed in 2008 and wasn’t renewed by the Arroyo administration after the agreement drew tons of flak for what the critics branded as a sellout of Philippine sovereignty. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO DUTERTE IN BRUNEI, ... RELATED, Defense chief Lorenzanawants scaled down war games... RELATED(2), Arroyo may boost US-PH ties in Clinton win – analyst...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Fishery accords during Duterte China visit way forward in South China Sea dispute


OCTOBER 19 -In this Sept. 8, 2016 file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarata, Indonesia. Presidential Communications Office

MANILA, OCTOBER 24, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Charmaine Deogracias (Vera Files) | Updated October 19, 2016 - Whether Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping talk about Scarborough Shoal in their first meeting in Beijing, the specter of the triangular-shaped coral reef 124 nautical miles west of Zambales looms large in this landmark visit that signals the rekindling of relations between the two Asian countries severely strained with the filing of the suit before the Hague tribunal by the previous administration of Benigno Aquino III.

A Malacañang source said Duterte will take up the South China Sea issue “if raised” in his four-eyes meeting with Xi on October 20.

He will not initiate to raise the issue of the arbitral ruling but will respond if mentioned. However, his key message on the matter of Scraborough shoal will be asserting the fishing rights of Filipinos there, but while this is his wish “he will listen and will not make any imposition on the Chinese side.”

READ MORE...

Duterte has laid out this stance in his statement Sunday before he left for Brunei and China.” There are areas of special concern and many are wondering how I would deal with China on the matter of the China Sea or West Philippine Sea. We will stick to our claim. We do not bargain anything there. We continue to insist that that’s ours, and that the tribunal, international decision will be taken up and... but there will be no hard impositions. We will talk and we will, maybe, paraphrase everything in the judgment and set the limits of our territories, the special economic zones. “

Duterte allayed the concern of many that he will be giving away the disputed rock outcrop that has been closely guarded by three Chinese Coast Guard vessels and inaccessible to Filipino fishermen since 2012. “I will be very careful not to bargain anything for after all, I cannot give what is not mine and which I am not empowered to do by any stretch of imagination,” he said.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, in his Beijing visit-related press conference at Kamuning Bakery last October 14, articulated what is expected to be China’s position when thorny issue of South China Sea (SCS).

“Even if the SCS issue is touched upon, both sides would like to seek common grounds and we do share some common grounds. First and foremost, both sides are committed to maintaining peace and stability in the SCS and both sides are committed to using peaceful means to settle our dispute and both sides have realized that thru SCS, that our trade is being conducted not only for now but we have conducted trade and people exchanges friendly exchanges for a thousand of years. So from this perspective SCS is not something that is separating China and the Philippines. It has served as a bridge and linked up the two nations and the two peoples. We hope that by working together we can turn this SCS into a sea of peace friendship and cooperation and in particular a sea of cooperation.”

TAKING THE WISER, CONSTRUCTIVE RECOURSE

A maritime security expert, retired diplomat Alberto Encomienda, former head of the Foreign Affairs Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office said the Duterte government, behind its seemingly confused statements on the South China Sea issue, is taking the wiser and constructive recourse of separating the geopolitical and geo-economic issues in approaching China.

“And it is gaining ground,” he said.

Encomienda was part of the delegation of retired ambassadors and foreign affairs experts, who went to China last month and met with ranking government officials and think tanks.

“Judging from the initial contacts between China and the Philippines in the immediate aftermath of The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling, the bifurcated approach is what maybe shaping up on the ground,” Encomienda said in a forum on Environmental and Maritime Security for the Blue South China Sea in Hai Phong, Vietnam last week.

DEPARTURE FROM WHAT AQUINO III  MAINTAINED

This is a departure from the multilateral negotiation that the Aquino government earlier maintained.

Presenting his “Proposed Solutions to Maintain Navigation Freedom in the South China Sea after The Hague Ruling,” Encomienda said a resolution on the geo-economic aspects is easier to achieve and can be implemented immediately outside of the sovereignty/political issues, granted the existence of good faith and goodwill among all concerned states.

Encomienda said China has offered various forms of bilateral cooperation outside of the arbitral award such as fisheries and marine resources, which carry implications of food security, a proposition the Philippines is open to.

At least a dozen Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), including fisheries cooperation will be signed to signal the full normalization of bilateral relations after a challenging period under the Aquino government.

Ambassador Zhao said during the visit, Philippines and China will discuss ways to enhance cooperation in fisheries industry, aiming to develop aquaculture and technologies in fishing, storage, production and marketing. With China being a huge market, they expressed interest in importing fishery products such as Lapu-Lapu, shrimp and crab. He said the Philippines’ bangus is going to be popular in China.

“MOU on fishery because we know President Duterte is concerned about fishermen and we have the market and we have the capital and we have the interest. So that in further developing and engaging in fishery cooperation we can contribute in variety of ways to the welfare of the fishermen,” he said.

The diplomatic impasse between the Philippines and China began in the stand-off at Scarborough shoal when the Philippines sent its naval warship to Scarborough shoal to what would have been a law enforcement operation to arrest Chinese fishermen poaching there.

The arbitral ruling has recognized Scarborough shoal as traditional fishing grounds for both Chinese and Filipino fishermen. That stand-off in April 2012, and the Philippines filing of a compulsory arbitration case before the PCA tribunal put the Philippine-China relations at its lowest. China since then had de facto control of the Scarborough shoal.

FRESH START

Encomienda said a reassessment is necessary for a fresh start and move matters towards a peaceful resolution on the regional conflict situation and the post-arbitral ruling would be a good occasion for stocktaking, to serve as new starting point and being clear on where matters stand in regard to changed paradigms.

In his talk in Vietnam Encomienda said that while “there have been no positive outcomes worthwhile noting in regard to practical and cooperative action to “enforce” nor implement any part of the ruling, he proposed ocean governance cooperation in the South China Sea as a cooperative action against the increasing danger of marine environment and resources degradation due to continuing neglect and lack of cooperation among regional states.

“An anticipated magnified threat to the marine environment and resources due to resulting intensified human activities or behaviors expected among concerned parties in the dispute situation. The challenge to the marine environment would continue for the simple reason that the July 12, 2016 The Hague PCA ruling in favor of the Philippines has not in any manner or measure dissipated regional tensions,” Encomienda said.

He said freedom of navigation which has never been disrupted since the early beginnings of the South China Sea conflict situation, remains an “anticipatory threat.” Three months after the arbitral ruling freedom of navigation for trading vessels and naval vessels have not been disturbed and there have been no recurrence of Freedom of Navigation Operations by foreign naval elements. Encomienda said freedom of navigation must be addressed as an ocean governance concern that will impact on safety and security of navigation and not as a geopolitical issue.

“At the moment, the only way forward is to lighten the political burden, difficult as jurisdictional issues are, and proceeding to focus on addressing non-traditional maritime security concerns around which safety of navigation and shipping routes and Sea Lines of Communication’s must revolve, while managing freedom of navigation in relation to the protection of the marine environment,” Encomienda said.

VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

VIDEO: DUTERTE PRESS CONFERENCE DURING CHINA VISIT

 
https://youtu.be/ziyZnMFFGlg?t=233
PRESIDENT DUTERTE PRESS CONFERENCE IN CHINA: DE LIMA WILL ROT IN JAIL! PINOY VIRAL VIDEOS PINOY VIRAL VIDEOS Subscribe7,435 Add to Share More 7,919 views 80 6 Published on Oct 19, 2016 PRESIDENT DUTERTE FULL PRESCON IN CHINA

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte now in China by Genalyn Kabiling October 19, 2016 Share4 Tweet0 Share1 Email1 Share98


President Rodrigo R. Duterte arrives in China / Image grab RTVM video (mb.com.ph)

BEIJING, China –The President arrives in Beijing Tuesday night to strengthen the country’s relations with China, particularly on trade and investments. Duterte’s visit coincides with the 41st anniversary of the establishment of the relations between China and the Philippines.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte arrives in China / Image grab RTVM video (mb.com.ph) Two senators, four congressmen, and several Cabinet members are among the 29 top government officials accompanying President Duterte in his four-day state visit to China.

Included in the President’s official delegation to Beijing are House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Rep. Arthur Yap, Rep. Wesley Gatchalian, Rep. Harry Roque, and senior government officials.

READ MORE...

Duterte’s official party also includes Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueño, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Also joining the China visit are National Economic and Development Authority director general Ernesto Pernia, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, and Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo.

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

Philippines to sign $13.5B in deals with China (Associated Press) | Updated October 20, 2016 - 6:50pm 0 36 googleplus0 0


Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shows the way to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. AP/Ng Han Guan

BEIJING — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez says the Philippines and China will sign $13.5 billion of deals during President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China this week.

Lopez was speaking Thursday at a business forum in Beijing attended by Duterte and various Chinese and Filipino officials.

The forum followed meetings between Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who hailed the Southeast Asian nation leader's visit as being of "milestone significance."

Earlier in the day, the leaders oversaw the signing of agreements that touched on the financing of infrastructure projects, boosting trade and tourism, lifting export restrictions and other issues.

Duterte has sought China's help by setting aside the thorny issue of territorial disputes.

A Chinese senior diplomat says Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte did not discuss whether China would allow Filipino fishermen to return to Scarborough Shoal, an outcome likely to disappoint the Southeast Asian country.

Scarborough Shoal is the fishing ground China seized in 2012 that is the crux of the China-Philippines territorial dispute. An international tribunal found the Philippines and China both retained traditional fishing rights in the area.

Before his trip to China, Duterte said he would ask Beijing to allow Filipino fishermen to again operate in the area.

Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin also says China will lift restrictions on imports of tropical fruit from the Philippines and also cancel a travel advisory that had discouraged Chinese tourists from going to the Philippines.

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

China: Philippine bilateral talks over sea dispute to resume By Christopher Bodeen (Associated Press) | Updated October 20, 2016 - 4:00pm 4 297 googleplus0 0

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. AP/Ng Han Guan

BEIJING (First published, 2:56 p.m.) — China and the Philippines have agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders.

The move appeared to be a diplomatic victory for Beijing several months after an international arbitration tribunal invalidated China's expansive territorial claims over the resource-rich waters in a case put forward by the Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing as part of a charm offensive aimed at seeking trade and support from the Asian giant by setting aside the thorny territorial dispute.

Duterte hailed a warming of relations with China and said that ties between them go back centuries.

"China has been a friend of the Philippines and the roots of our bonds are very deep and not easily severed," he told Xi in his opening remarks. "Even as we arrive in Beijing, close to winter, this is a springtime of our relationship," he added.

Xi said the meeting had "milestone significance." In a reference to the South China Sea temsions, Xi said that "although we have weathered storms, the basis of our friendship and our desire for cooperation has not changed."

Following the talks, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters that the leaders only touched on the topic briefly during their talks.

"Both sides agreed that the South China Sea issue is not the sum total of the bilateral relationship," Liu said.

The two sides agreed to return to the approach used five years ago of seeking a settlement through bilateral dialogue, he said.

Philippine diplomats could not be immediately reached for comment.

The talks had been suspended after China seized control of Scarborough Shoal, off the main Luzon island in the northern Philippines, and the Philippines launched the arbitration process under Duterte's predecessor. The Philippines has in the past insisted that the ruling form the basis for any negotiations with China, while Beijing has insisted on the opposite.

Duterte was greeted by Xi with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of the ceremonial legislature in the heart of Beijing. The two leaders oversaw the signing of agreements between their governments.

China has framed Duterte's visit as a step toward ending years of estrangement between the countries.

Dutert has walked a tightrope in trying to mend damaged relations with China while defending his country's claims in the disputed South China Sea.

In Beijing, the Philippine leader known for his devil-may-care, profanity-laden speeches said Wednesday he would not raise the issue that has angered China unless his Chinese counterpart first brought it up, out of "courtesy" to his host.

"As a matter of courtesy and in the Oriental way, you always wait," Duterte said ahead of a meeting with members of the Filipino business community in Beijing on Wednesday. "Because I am a visitor, I can't destroy the goodwill by just blurting out something."

He also signaled a major shift in reliance on the U.S., the Philippines' long-standing defense treaty ally, telling the Filipino community members: "So it's about time to say goodbye, my friend. Your stay in my country was for you own benefit."

The overtures to Beijing have drawn criticism of Duterte at home in the Philippines, where the public is wary of taking a deferential attitude to a country regarded as a bully.

His visit is being watched by Washington for signs of just how seriously the new Philippine leader intends to pursue a shift away from Washington and toward Beijing, a move that could have a major impact on regional power dynamics.

VIDEO: DUTERTE MEETS CHINESE MEDIA

 
https://youtu.be/vJMzC4pKs_8?t=132
LAUGHTRIP! Chinese Media TRYING HARD MAG TAGALOG sa Harap ni President Duterte sa CHINA News ThatMatter News ThatMatter Subscribe Add to Share More 6,134 views 396 39 Published on Oct 19, 2016 Subscribe to the NewsThatMatter channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChfQ... Visit the NewsThatMatter Portal: http://newsthatmatter.net


PHILSTAR

Rody visit seen to strengthen Philippines-China trade, political ties By Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 21, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang welcomes President Duterte at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

SUZHOU – Delegates and organizers of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meeting being held in this southeastern Chinese city are optimistic that the visit of President Duterte in Beijing will further strengthen ties between the two countries.

ACC secretary general Yang Xiuping, a former ambassador to Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, yesterday said the Philippines and China are traditional allies and Duterte’s visit “will spike not only the trade between the two countries but also the political realignments.”

Yang, however, refused to comment on the possible outcome of the visit and its political implications on both China and the Philippines with regard to the latter’s volatile relationship with the United States.

READ MORE...

“Our focus here is to strengthen the relationship between China and the 10-member ASEAN. The purpose of the ACC is for these countries to promote political trust and amity among us by means of pragmatic cooperation,” Yang, who has visited the Philippines several times, told The STAR.

An intergovernmental organization co-founded in 1991 by China and its member-states, the ACC aims to promote multilateral cooperation in trade, culture, investment, education, tourism and information.

Politically, China and the ASEAN signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which became the guideline for actions related to its implementation.

In terms of economy, the two sides completed building the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and have carried out comprehensive cooperation in business and agriculture, among others, including the Mekong Basin Development.

“China-ASEAN relations have never been more profound, interactive and productive compared to ASEAN’s relation with other dialogue partners. These positive relations have vigorously promoted economic and social development to all members, as well as regional cooperation which is turning out to be an important pillar of peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region,” Yang said during an interview with China Report, China’s national political and economic journal.

Asked about her reaction to some Western media’s observation that ASEAN countries do not have the same position on some China-related issues like the South China Sea controversy, among others, Yang said member-states should not worry.

“They should find their own way forward in terms of development. I dare not flatter some Western media reports because I believe news coverage should always be pursued with objectivity and fairness,” she said.

The South China Sea controversy had been a major irritant among China, Vietnam and the Philippines – and some scholars consider Duterte’s visit here “a badly needed rain on a hot, scorching summer.”

More than Duterte’s political and foreign policy posture that leans toward China, the ACC said it is excited to pursue their progressive cooperation that started more than 20 years ago.

Xian Hallin, ACC coordinator, said the inclusion of the Philippines in China’s Silk Road economic project is highly anticipated by both countries and is seen as a catalyst as far as the two countries’ relationship is concerned.

The term “silk road” was coined in 1877 by German geographer Ferdinand Von Richtthofen in reference to the network of trade roads connecting China, Central Asia and Europe.

During his visits to Southeast Asia in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the initiatives of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road.

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RELATED FRPM THE MANILA STANDARD

PH-Sino games ruled out - Duterte changes tack to avoid provocations posted October 20, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


WELCOME MAT. President Rodrigo Duterte is greeted Wednesday in Beijing by Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua as the Filipino leader, who is open to joint explorations in the West Philippine Sea, begins a four-day official visit during which he will meet with Chinese officials and businessmen to help boost Philippine economy. AFP

BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday ruled out all joint military exercises with any superpower, be it the United States, China or Russia, to avoid further provocations in the South China Sea.

Speaking to Filipino journalists, Duterte maintained that there won’t be any deals on joint exploration or fishing rights in the South China Sea during his four-day state visit to China.

“There will be no military alliances brought in. I am just saying that we are not interested in adding fuel in what is already a volatile world,” Duterte said.

READ MORE...

His latest statements seemed at odds with what he told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television about being open to joint military exercises with China and Russia.

Asked if he would consider joint military exercises with the two countries, Duterte said: “Yes, I will. I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers.”

Duterte also repeated his vow to no longer participate in joint military exercises with the United States, the Philippines’ main defense ally and supplier of military hardware.

In the same interview, Duterte also denied newspaper reports that the Philippines is set to enter into a deal with China to jointly explore energy sources in the uncontested areas in the West Philippine Sea, working to find oil or natural gas in what is also known internationally as the South China Sea.

“No, I do not think it would be right,” Duterte said. “If you plan to give up and share what you have, then you cannot talk about it all along. At this time I am not in power to do that,” he said.


YASAY

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. also played down reports of joint exploration.

“We are not talking about joint exploration. This is not the right time to talk about joint exploration. We are just simply talking about how we can improve our ties with China without eroding or compromising our disputes, which is just a small portion of our relationship with China in regards with the South China Sea,” Yasay said.

On Sunday while on a state visit to Brunei, Duterte said he would raise the controversial arbitral ruling on the South China Sea with China’s leaders and vowed not to surrender any sovereignty or deviate from the July award by the tribunal in The Hague.

Duterte has not pressed Beijing over the tribunal’s ruling, apparently seeking to use that verdict as leverage with which to extract concessions from Beijing.

Instead of raising the issue, the President said that he would be asking Xi Jinping and the Chinese government for fishing rights of Filipino fishermen “in passing.”

“I will mention it in passing. Its very important because it’s livelihood. We will not look hard on who owns what because that is contested,” he added.

Duterte, who sought to cool off the icy relations with Beijing after an arbitral ruling in favor of the Philippines, maintained he will just focus on exploring economic cooperation with China instead.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also emphasized the economic aspect of Duterte’s visit.

In another chance interview, Yasay said he had advised the President to “proceed with caution” in talking about the West Philippine Sea.

Yasay also emphasized that the President will focus on economic and trade deals.

“If you’re asking me about the trip to China, this is it. We are taking advantage of the opportunity of making sure that the other aspects of our relationship with our neighbor China will be pursued. This is the reason why we’re here. In the past, there has been a weakening of this relationship but now we see that there are opportunities that are being brought by our President’s call to make sure that we renew ties with our neighbors. And this is what we are doing,” Yasay said.

“We are not expecting alliances in terms of anything that others may have suggested, no. We are just treating our friends in an equal manner in carrying out our independent foreign policy,” he said.

P3 BILLION

A senior business official on Wednesday said the Philippines can tap into more than $3 billion in loan facilities offered by Bank of China to bankroll infrastructure and support for micro, small and medium enterprises once an agreement on China’s Silk Road Initiative has been reached.

“You see today we start talking about the Silk Road and its a very, very big name,” Philippine Silkroad International Chamber President Francis Chua said in an interview.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he wanted Manila to join Beijing’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative to make up for the country’s lack of funding for much-needed infrastructure.

Duterte likewise said that rapid development was hard to accomplish for any country without railways, and hoped China could offer soft loans to build them.

“There are so many things in my country which I would like to implement, but [cannot] for [the] lack of the capital stock,” Duterte said.

“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”

China’s most ambitious foreign policy initiative, the Belt and Road refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road launched by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote economic cooperation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.

The strategy underlines China’s push to take a bigger role in global affairs, and its need for cooperation in areas such as steel and manufacturing.

Duterte is scheduled to meet top leaders including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

“Only China can help us,” he told the official Xinhua news agency Monday.

He was due to meet members of the Filipino community in Beijing later Wednesday.

The Philippines is hoping, among other things, that Beijing will repeal a ban on imports of its bananas -- an economic sanction intended to punish Manila for its South China Sea stance.

The Philippines is one of several coastal nations which dispute China’s claims to virtually all of the strategically vital waters. It has been a key player in the dispute, which is an issue of intense interest in both Washington and Beijing.

Tensions have risen between the US and China over Washington’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific, a move which Beijing says is intended to contain its rise.

FOCUSED ON ECONOMIC TIES

Duterte has said his trip will focus on promoting economic ties. Foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose has said: “There will be a lot, I mean a lot, of business contracts that will be signed.”

In an editorial Tuesday, China’s nationalistic Global Times newspaper called on the government to “reciprocate Duterte’s overture” by giving the Philippines access to fishing grounds near Scarborough Shoal -- a move which would imply that such rights were China’s to give.

“Filipino fishermen fish on a shoestring and are unlikely to jeopardize the ecosystem of China’s waters,” the paper said.

China took control of the shoal in 2012 after a standoff with the Philippine Navy. Manila has long claimed the feature for itself, maintaining that it controls the area’s fishing rights.

China itself has been accused of doing massive environmental damage to the South China Sea by building artificial islands, some with airstrips, capable of hosting military facilities.

In another editorial Wednesday, the Global Times said Washington had treated Manila “as a pawn” and Duterte was “redesigning Philippine foreign policy based on Philippine interests”.

Beijing has also enthusiastically endorsed Duterte’s war on drugs, which has seen more than 3,700 people killed and led the International Criminal Court to warn that those responsible could face charges.

China, which has frequently been criticised for its own approach to drug users, “is his best partner in the anti-drug fight”, the Global Times wrote. With AFP


INQUIRER

COURTING A GIANT: ‘Separation’ anxiety By: Juliet Labog-Javellana / @julietlabj Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:35 AM October 22, 2016


COURTING A GIANT President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping (second from right) share a light moment with retired basketball superstar Yao Ming at the state banquet held at the Golden Hall of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday night . CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of “separation” from the United States is “unwise” and a “national tragedy” that should not happen, former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Friday.

READ: Split with US unwise, tragedy that shouldn’t happen–ex-DFA chief

Mr. Duterte’s shock declaration, made during a state visit to China on Thursday, has thrown Philippine foreign policy into confusion, with the Americans saying they are baffled and some Filipino lawmakers warning him his decision could backfire on the Philippines.

READ: President Duterte’s remarks on cutting ties baffle US officials

The firebrand Mr. Duterte rarely lets a day pass without taunting or abusing the United States, but his latest comments signal he wants to torpedo a 70-year alliance with the United States in favor of China and Russia.

“In this venue, your honors, I announce my separation from the United States, both in military, not maybe social, [and] economics,” Mr. Duterte told Chinese and Filipino businessmen, to applause, at a forum in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

READ: Duterte announces military, economic split with US

“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,” he said.

Mr. Duterte’s efforts to engage China, months after a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea in a case brought by the previous administration, mark a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor of Davao City took office on June 30.

‘National tragedy’

“What is unfolding before us must be considered a national tragedy [that] does not need to happen. It is our earnest hope that this most unfortunate declaration will be corrected,’’ Del Rosario said in his strongest statement yet on Mr. Duterte’s cozying up to China.

“The declared shift in foreign policy casting aside a longtime reliable ally to hastily embrace an aggressive neighbor that vehemently rejects international law is both unwise and incomprehensible,’’ Del Rosario said.

“We must be with responsible nations with whom we share our core values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. To stand otherwise is not what Filipinos are. It is not what we do. It is not what is right,’’ he added.

Team leader at The Hague

Del Rosario was the foreign secretary from 2011 to 2016 in the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. He served as Philippine ambassador to the United States from 2001 to 2006.

He led the Philippine team that argued the Philippines’ challenge to China’s claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague last year.

On July 12, the tribunal ruled that China’s claims in the South China Sea has no basis in international law and that it has violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights to fish and explore for resources in waters within its 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone in the strategic waterway.

China, which refused to take part in the proceedings, rejected the ruling, calling it “waste paper.”

Mr. Duterte, who styles himself as a socialist, has previously said he will maintain the Philippines’ security alliance with the United States, but, saying he is charting an “independent foreign policy,” he has disallowed joint patrols with the US Navy in the South China Sea and canceled annual joint military exercises with US forces.

READ: Duterte: Gov’t to pursue ‘independent foreign policy’

Whether Mr. Duterte knows that the joint patrols and military maneuvers are part of the security alliance is unclear, and even his special envoy to China, former President Fidel Ramos, has described the President’s comments as “discombobulating.”

In a recent speech, Del Rosario noted the “lack of clarity’’ from the Duterte administration about the President’s wanting an “independent foreign policy.’’

“To be principled and independent, our foreign policy must be rooted in our core value as a nation. A principled and independent foreign policy must therefore be anchored on democracy, freedom, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law,’’ Del Rosario said.

‘Nothing permanent’

Mr. Duterte’s latest comments received mixed reviews from lawmakers, with former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile understanding them as mere “wishes” and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV calling Mr. Duterte a “communist.”

“There is nothing permanent in all of this,” Enrile said in a news forum in Quezon City on Friday. “As long as he does not abrogate [our security treaties], we are still tied with the United States.

Enrile, however, warned the country’s leaders to tread carefully in dealing with countries like China.

“If you enter [into] an agreement, it means you want something from the other party and [the other party] wants something from you, too,” he said.

Enrile, a former defense secretary, said forging a military alliance with China would have ramifications in other nations, like Japan, which is at odds with China.

He said severing ties with the United States would also have a “reverberatory impact” in international institutions, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization.

TRILLANES

Trillanes, a former military officer, had harsh words for Mr. Duterte. “If he thinks like a communist, talks like a communist, frees the communists and appoints the communists, then he must be a communist,” he said in a text message.

RELATED: Trillanes calls Duterte a communist

DE LIMA

Sen. Leila de Lima wanted clarification on Mr. Duterte’s foreign policy “overhaul.”

“When you look for friends, you just don’t look for rich people who can give you loans or have lots of toy guns to lend. You also look at how they will treat you as a person and if they are ready to defend you. They might play with you, but there is no assurance that they’ll respect you as a person,” De Lima said.

RECTO

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto expressed reservation about Mr. Duterte’s realignment with China.

“Foreign policy rebalancing should not mean that we swing the pendulum to the other extreme, that we dump old friends for new suitors,” Recto said in a statement.

“We should practice big-tent diplomacy, welcoming all, and shunning no one. The national interest is served by extending amity to all, and hostility to none,” he said.

‘He does not mean it’

REP. LAGMAN

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman described Mr. Duterte’s declaration as “hyperbole.”

“He does not mean it,” Lagman said.

READ: Lagman on Duterte’s break-up from US: Just hyperbole

He said the Philippines could not afford to completely end its relations with traditional economic and security allies like the United States.

“He is just catering to the goodwill of his Chinese hosts,” Lagman said.

REP BAGUILAT

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said the United States remained more important to the Filipinos than China.

“Many Filipinos get their livelihood from America—from remittances of Filipino-Americans, emolument from US investments in [business process outsourcing], manufacturing and the service sector, and the billions [of dollars in] US grants and loans,” he said. —WITH REPORTS FROM JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE, DJ YAP, JHESSET O. ENANO, AFP/TVJ

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Cabinet members scramble to interpret Duterte’s words By: Daxim L. Lucas / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 09:47 PM October 21, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a news conference in Beijing, China, on Oct. 19. Duterte’s effusive message of friendship on his visit to Beijing this week has handed China a public relations bonanza just three months after Beijing suffered a humiliating defeat by an international tribunal. AP

BEIJING—Amid the diplomatic firestorm created by President Rodrigo Duterte after he declared his decision to initiate a “separation” from the United States, members of his Cabinet scrambled to explain and interpret his words to the public, even as businessmen and analysts struggled to understand and come to terms with the Chief Executive’s aggressive words.

On Friday, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella sought to downplay Mr. Duterte’s statement, saying it was merely “a restatement of his position on charting an independent foreign policy … that he has repeatedly made in domestic speeches.”

“This is not an intent to renege on our treaties and agreements with our established allies, but an assertion that we are an independent and sovereign nation, now finding common ground with friendly neighbors, with shared aspirations in the spirit of mutual respect, support and cooperation,” he said in a statement.

ABELLA, ANDANAR

Abella explained that Mr. Duterte was asserting the imperative to separate the nation from dependence on the US and the West, and to rebalance economic and military relations with our Asian neighbors such as China, Japan and South Korea, as well as the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

President Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, likened the situation to a young adult moving out of his parents’ house.

“The United States was a father to us for a long time, and it is but timely already for us to move out of that house and secure our own house and decide for ourselves,” he said.

Asked whether the President will move to abrogate the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty—the cornerstone of a military alliance with the US that obligates each nation to come to the other’s defense during wartime—Mr. Andanar said the issue would be discussed by the Cabinet, as well as Mr. Duterte’s defense and security advisers.

“It’s like having a co-equal relationship with everyone. No one is above anyone,” he said. “We have good relations with China. Soon, we will have good relations with Russia. And we have good relations with Japan. We’ve had good relations with the United States, with UK, and other countries.”

Outside the President’s circle, the view was mixed.

A businessman who joined the trip to three-day state visit to Beijing said Mr. Duterte’s statement “should not be interpreted literally.”

“He just wants to project that he is taking an independent economic and foreign policy,” said Francis Chua who is the chair emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, adding that he does not expect any disruptions on the business and economic front to result from the President’s words.

Ateneo de Manila University lecturer Segundo Romero pointed out that the President, by himself, cannot turn around the country’s foreign policy.

“The foreign policy of the country as it now stands is a result of thousands of battles and skirmishes across seven decades by various stakeholders in government, the private sector and civil society,” he said. “People died for their positions on this issue in insurgencies, student demonstrations in the 1970s, battles and wars.”

Romero explained that national debates raged over the end of the US military bases agreement, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, and three Philippine Constitutions since 1935.

“It is naive to think that a single person, even if he were president, can turn this foreign policy either way more than 45 degrees,” he said.

“Even the President’s Cabinet hear, but don’t accept, what this Rip Van Winkle of a President declares,” he added, comparing Mr. Duterte to the main character in an 1800s American short story who falls asleep in the woods and awakes 20 years later to find the world around him changed.

For his part, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo told the Inquirer that he was “shocked and concerned” about the country’s future.

Romulo, who was the country’s chief diplomat under President Fidel Ramos in the 1990s, said the Mr. Duterte should explain his move to the 60 percent of Filipinos who favor the US over China, and suggested that the President call a referendum before taking the country further down this path.

“Past ambassadors to China warn not to trust China,” he added.

RELATED STORIES

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Senators seek clarification on Duterte’s foreign policy stance, caution on implications of PH-US split

Solon wants probe on Duterte’s conflicting foreign policy

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES (ANALYSIS/COMMENTARY)

Duterte’s historic, mind-boggling break from the past BY RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO ON ON OCTOBER 24, 2016 OPINION ON PAGE ONE


RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

If President Duterte completes his term, and I think he will, and if he doesn’t change his view of the world and our place in it, and I don’t think he will, scholars of the future will divide modern Philippine history as the ‘before Duterte’ (BD) and ‘after-Duterte’ (AD) periods.

(BD)

BD refers to the era of the United States’ formal and informal subjugation of the Philippines, which started when the US, then an emerging power, grabbed control of our government from the Filipino revolutionaries who had brought the waning Spanish Empire in our country down to its knees.

(AD)

The AD period has just begun, after the President in his hyperbolical manner announced — during his state visit to an emerging superpower, which the US nearly nuked during the Korean war, the People’s Republic of China ­— the Philippines’ “separation” from the US.

Quibble whether that really meant the end of our relations with the US, or whether he was just referring to military arrangements, but his message is crystal clear: no longer will the Philippines be a vassal of the US, and will henceforth pursue an independent foreign policy.

I can’t imagine any past President, or even any other political figure­­, except perhaps Miriam Defensor-Santiago, doing what Duterte has done.

Exaggeration to refer to a pre- and post-Duterte period? I don’t think so.

Since the birth of the nation at the turn of the last century, we’ve been under the aegis of the American eagle, so much so that few found it disgusting to have had such a pro-American official of an Indonesian conglomerate, Albert del Rosario, as foreign affairs secretary, who steered the country to become Asia’s American factotum against China over the Spratly dispute.

Why on earth antagonize an emerging superpower in our part of the world, which has become in the past few years our biggest trading partner, making up 20 percent of our trade, as compared with the US’ 13 percent?

ERA OF MAGSAYSAY, MARCOS

Our cultural and ideological subjugation has been total that many Filipinos still revere President Ramon Magsaysay, whom the very CIA agent who “handled” him, Col. Edward Lansdale, had revealed in several books how much that “man of the masses” was his marionette. Lansdale even cited a moment’s displeasure where he lost it and punched the man.

In more recent history, there couldn’t have been a Marcos dictatorship without US approval and support­­ – among a host of minor reasons: to ensure Clark and Subic air bases’ strategic role in the Vietnam war, as well as for US capital to repatriate their investments, given the termination of the so-called Parity Rights in 1974. “Minor,” as the major reason was geopolitical: we were a bastion of anti-Communism in the 1970s in this part of the world.


A cartoon from a US magazine in 1905: Duterte hates it.

Marcos junked in 1986

The US junked Marcos in 1986 and almost totally handled Cory Aquino’s rise to power, as the strongman could no longer rule.

The dictator’s kidney ailments had made him a shadow of his former self. His ideas for stepping down fell through, with the Americans concluding that his preferred successor, “Prime Minister” Cesar Virata, would be eaten alive by his wife Imelda or by the magnate, Eduardo Cojuangco.

More importantly, the global debt crisis that was started in Latin America, which the return of Ninoy Aquino from self-imposed exile – whether he had lived or was assassinated – converted into our own debt crisis in November 1983, pushed the country into its worst economic conflagration, compelling the Philippine ruling class to beg the US to intervene.

I myself witnessed how the US really controlled this country in 1989, when I saw from our office F-4 Phantom jets whizzing by toward Malacanang Palace to threaten rebel Col. Gregorio Honasan’s puny world-war vintage planes that were strafing Cory’s residence.

US AND CORY

Duterte should keep that incident in mind: the Phantom jets weren’t coincidentally in their Clark air base as their propaganda made the nation to believe.

They came from the US carrier USS Enterprise in “Operation Classic Resolve,” which was deployed with all its accompanying fleet of support ships, to defend Cory. A history of the USS Enterprise by the Public Broadcasting System boasted about that episode:

“Enterprise began its 14th overseas deployment in September 1989.

In early December, Enterprise participated in ‘Operation Classic Resolve,’ President Bush’s response to Philippine President Corazon Aquino’s request for air support during the rebel coup attempt. Enterprise remained on station conducting flight operations in the waters outside Manila Bay.”

Historians will indisputably prove, as I think several scholars have already done, that our revered “saint of EDSA I,” Corazon Aquino, was a US creation, and puppet.

I suspect that roughly the same judgment will be rendered on another currently respected President, the West Pointer Fidel Ramos, who very effectively got the nation to believe in the American (and British) monopoly capitalists’ worldview of deregulation and globalization – which obviously opens the door of any country to them. How could he have won the 1998 elections over such a popular figure as Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ramon Mitra, with his powerful political machine?

EDCA SIGNING

The two more recent cases of our subservience to the US, without most of the nation not knowing it, was the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and President Benigno S. Aquino’s filing of the arbitration case against China over the Spratly territorial dispute.

Bulgaria and Romania entered into their EDCA arrangements (from which ours was copied like a cut-and-paste work) with the US only after ratification by their legislatures in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

It took a month in Bulgaria’s case and 17 months for Romania. In our case, Aquino’s subservience to the US was such that no approval by our Senate needed to be sought. Why?

Imperial arrogance

Sheer imperial arrogance on the part of the US perhaps, or it feared that the Senate, as it did with regards to the US base agreements in 1991, wouldn’t approve the treaty.

The more realistic explanation shames us all. Aquino wanted desperately for President Obama to make a state visit, and time was running out, and he could be the only Philippine President during whose term a US head of state didn’t visit the country. It would have been a notable miss given the window that was opened when Obama announced a swing through Asia, to begin with Japan.

But without EDCA, no state visit — that was the clear message of the Americans, foreign affairs department sources had told me. To do so, Foreign Affairs Secretary del Rosario yanked out the then head of the negotiating panel Carlos Sorreta, who had been “asking too many questions” and replaced him with a more malleable foreign affairs bureaucrat. But still, the negotiations didn’t’ go as fast as del Rosario wanted.

When was the EDCA signed? When Obama was in Air Force one, in the clouds coming from Malaysia. He could have announced some emergency and skipped the Philippines, if EDCA wasn’t signed, DFA sources claimed.

I have written several columns on why Aquino moved to file the arbitration case against China over the Spratly dispute, how the US quite brilliantly played the past administration to decide on that move that made us the American proxy in the territorial squabble on the other side of the globe from Washington, D.C.

SEA DISPUTE ARBITRATION

My account had not been contested by the Aquino administration: \

--How the chain of events started with the US donation of what would become a Philippine Navy warship BRP Gregorio del Pilar;

--how Aquino foolishly deployed it to Scarborough Shoal only to withdraw it after a few days;

--how China claimed our country militarized the area and, therefore, was justified in occupying it with a dozen of their civilian ships;

--how Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th confused the situation by negotiating with the “Chinese;”

--and finally, according to that senator, how del Rosario falsely told the President that there would be simultaneous withdrawals of Chinese and Filipino ships from the shoal.

The Chinese didn’t leave while ours did.

So Chinese ships occupied it, and have simply blocked our ships from even approaching it – which in international realpolitik means we have lost the shoal to the Chinese, so that as del Rosario put it, we had no choice but to file the case. (See http://www.manilatimes.net/the-philippine-suit-a-brilliant-us-machination/273407/).

We’ve won the arbitration case, but we, and the whole wide world, can’t enforce it, making it into a worthless sheet of paper.

Magsaysay; The Marcos dictatorship; EDSA I and Cory Aquino; Our heroic, David versus Goliath fight against China -- All American projects, with us being so gullible.

Duterte’s stance of independence from the US is fraught with danger, as the bulk of the ruling economic and political elite are economically, ideologically, culturally, ‘residentially,’ and even generationally tied up with US interests and the “American way of life.”

Is there anybody in our elite who doesn’t own a residence in New York or Los Angeles?

STILL IMPOVERISHED COUNTRY

We have been America’s stooge in Asia for more than a century, yet we are still impoverished.

A country that literally fought the US, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is fast growing it may even overtake us soon.

But epochal changes in any nation on earth have always been very risky. The separation from the US won’t be easy, and the nation is likely to suffer first, and the big question is whether Duterte could survive the blowback.

If he does, it won’t be us but the coming generations that would reap the benefits of being a truly independent nation.

Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Twitter @bobitiglao


PHILSTAR

No military alliance, joint exploration with China By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 20, 2016 - 12:00am 0 10 googleplus0 0


President Duterte gestures to a crowd of well-wishers as he and members of the Philippine delegation together with Chinese officials led by Ambassador Zhao Jianhua walk along Wangfujing street on their way to the Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing yesterday.

BEIJING – President Duterte may have decided to stop the war exercises between the Philippines and the US, but he is also not keen on pursuing a military alliance with China or with any other country “to avoid adding fuel” to what he described as a “volatile” world.

Duterte also ruled out discussions on joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea during his four-day state visit here.

In a press briefing, the President said the Philippines would not meddle in brewing conflict among some countries because it would not promote anything positive.

“There will be no military alliances entered into. There will be no military alliances broken. What I am just saying is that we are not interested in adding fuel to what is already a volatile world,” he said.

READ MORE...

“There is no such thing as allowing the missiles here or missiles there, I would not allow it,” Duterte said yesterday when asked if he would forge a military alliance with China.

“I am not into that. And if you talk about America, Russia, vis-à-vis China, Great Britain, France, Iran, Pakistan, India, there is a conflict going on, it’s getting hot,” he added.

Duterte said he believes there is no point in acquiring powerful bombs or missiles as an international conflict could “end the world.”

“Why should I borrow missiles or ask for nuclear bomb? For what? They were just crazy people who would want to pull a stack on a matter of national pride,” the Philippine leader said.

“And if you think that if those nuclear bombs will explode at the same time, then we might not be able to board our last men out of China because it will just simply end the world,” he added.

Early this month, Duterte said he would end the joint military drills with US forces after American officials called him out for the spate of killings tied to his brutal war on drugs.

He said he has no plan to cut alliances with the US but maintained that the Philippines should follow a more independent foreign policy.

Early this month, Duterte expressed doubts on the importance of military alliances, which he believes would no longer matter in the age of advanced weapons.

“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 in a speech delivered last Oct. 11.

“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.

“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’).”

Duterte said he would rather go for alliances that would promote the health, education and the welfare of the next generation.

President Duterte receives an architect’s perspective and blueprint of the proposed drug addiction treatment center to be donated by the Friends of the Philippines Foundation during a lunch meeting at Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing yesterday. Joint exploration Duterte also said the issue on joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea would not be discussed during his four-day state visit here.

He explained he is not authorized to discuss the issue because the sharing of resources requires the approval of Congress and “every Filipino involved.”

“No, I don’t think that will be right,” the President said when asked whether he would bring up joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea in his meetings with Chinese leaders.

“If you plan to give up something or if you try to share what you have if it is really yours, then you cannot talk about it openly on your own. This has to be with the consent of Congress and everybody, every Filipino involved in town,” he added.

“So at this time, I am not empowered to do that, I cannot give something and I cannot also add what has not been given me.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. echoed the President’s position, saying it is not the time to discuss the issue.

“We’re not talking about joint exploration. This is not the time to talk about joint exploration. We’re just simply talking about how we can improve better ties with China without eroding or compromising our disputes, which is just a small portion of our relationship with China,” Yasay said in a separate interview.

Earlier reports said officials of the Duterte administration and the Chinese government are in talks to forge a deal that would allow them to jointly explore oil or natural gas in the West Philippine Sea. According to the report, the deal is being finalized and may first cover uncontested areas.

Fishing rights While the joint exploration of oil and gas is not in the agenda of his state visit, Duterte said he would mention the issue on the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal to Chinese leaders “in passing.”

“It’s (issue) very important because it’s livelihood. We’ll not talk hard on who owns what because that is contested,” Duterte said.

He had announced he would ask Chinese leaders to allow Filipino fishermen to enter the shoal, which is located 124 nautical miles from Zambales. Chinese ships took control of the shoal in 2012 after a standoff with the Philippine Navy and have since maintained presence in the area.

Although well within the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone, Panatag Shoal is covered by China’s nine-dash line, a territorial claim that covers about 90 percent of the resource-rich West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The legality of the claim was challenged by the Philippines before an international court in 2013.

Last July, the tribunal based in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines and declared that China’s nine-dash line has no legal basis.

The court also ruled that the Philippines has sovereign rights over the Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, and Recto (Reed) Bank, all in the waters of Palawan.

While the tribunal said it was not ruling on sovereignty issue over Panatag Shoal, it declared that China had violated its duty to respect the Filipinos’ traditional fishing rights by preventing them from entering the shoal.

The West Philippine Sea row is expected to be tackled during Duterte’s meetings with Chinese officials today. The Philippine president is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and National People’s Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang.

“We would like to thank the People’s Republic of China for allowing us to visit the country and to have a wide ranging bilateral talks regarding shared mutual benefits and other issues that are of importance to the regional peace and security particularly the Southeast Asia,” Duterte said.

“We have identified broad outlines, there can be no specific agreements at this time and we would be glad to engage them and every other while we can to enhance the peace of the region,” he added.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Criticism of drug war contributed to foreign policy shift, Duterte says By Kristian Javier (philstar.com) | Updated October 20, 2016 - 3:05pm 2 73 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte at a press conference during his state visit to China. AP

MANILA, Philippines -- Criticism from the West contributed to the shift in the Philippines' foreign policy, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

"I said a few days ago, a few months ago, that I will charter a new course, changing direction of the foreign policy," Duterte said during a press conference during his four-day visit to China.

"Unfortunately, this started with the war against drugs," he said.

"What prompted me to change foreign policy is that almost getting a raw deal with the West and the EU (European Union) signed a manifesto and they told me it was prepared by the lawyers and I share that the lawyers warned me that I can be prosecuted," Duterte said.

In September, the European Parliament condemned the increase in drug-related killings in the Philippines.

“[Members of the European Parliament] urge the Philippines government to put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings, launch an ‘immediate investigation’ into them and adopt ‘specific, comprehensive policies and programs’, in full compliance with national and international obligations and respect for human rights,” the EP said in a statement after the Parliament Debate in Brussels.

It also said that it understands that illegal drugs "remain a serious national and international concern."

In the same statement, the European Parliament also condemned the bombing at a night market in Davao City on Sept. 2 that left 15 dead and 70 injured.

READ:European Parliament condemns Philippine killings

He added that news networks were only interested in highlighting his statement "if you destroy my country, I will kill you," which, he said, the EU and the US kept focusing on.

The phrase, as well as his statement that he is willing to risk his "life, honor and presidency" for the drug war, is often repeated in his speeches in military and police camps across the country.

"There's the word 'if.' It's conditional," Duterte said, stating that if the country will not be destroyed, then he will not kill the criminals.

He added that it is not a crime for any president to warn criminals 'not to do it.'

"What kept us from China was not our own making. We were almost a vassal state of America," Duterte said.

"Why should I not veer to China? China is good, it has not invaded a piece of my country all this generations," Duterte added.

The Philippines is a former US colony.

On the South China Sea issue President Duterte said that there will be a time to talk about the South China Sea issue, but said that he will wait for Chinese President Xi Jinping to bring it up.

"I have to be courteous, and I have to wait for your president to mention it in passing for me to respond," Duterte said.

Duterte disclosed that there had been preliminary talks between the Foreign secretaries of both countries even before he flew to Beijing.

"We sorted out an agenda that is broad enough to accommodate all," he said.

Duterte also added that the sea dispute can take a back seat and that there will be time to talk about it.

"There will be a time because you know, there are also countries around with all the same issue," Duterte said.

On trade and cooperation Duterte said that though he hates to admit it, there are so many things the Philippines needs.

"We will be asking for the help of China. I do not know if they will -- your government will give it to us," Duterte said.

He said that he is in China for a state visit and to pay respect to the people of China and the Chinese government, but if he will be asked, he will "rattle off things [the country needs]."

"We would appreciate if we are given loans, soft loans. We would rather borrow and pay it on a very liberal schedule," Duterte said.


PHILSTAR

GMA, allies seek revival of JMSU on disputed sea Written by Gerry Baldo Thursday, 20 October 2016 00:00



Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies are backing the Duterte administration’s plan to invite China for a joint exploration at the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines at the West Philippine Sea.
A joint exploration deal between the Philippines, China and Vietnam was crafted in 2005 during the administration of then President Arroyo.
The joint exploration called the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) on islands located 142,886 square kilometers west of Palawan, all of which are located within the Philippines’ 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The JMSU, however, lapsed in 2008 and wasn’t renewed by the Arroyo administration after the agreement drew tons of flak for what the critics branded as a sellout of Philippine sovereignty.

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House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez of Quezon and Joselito Atienza of Buhay party-list said that a joint venture with China will not affect the Philippines claim over some of the islands that are being claimed by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

“There’s no problem with a joint venture with China. It is most welcome because that it will increase our (financial) capital. This is a joint venture for exploration of oil or gas. If you don’t use those resources…in a few years, you can’t use it anymore,” Suarez, a former partymate of Arroyo in Lakas-CMD, said.

Atienza, for his part, posited that the country’s exclusive economic zone could be shared with other countries. “An exclusive economic zone does not mean it is yours. It just means you can conduct economic activities there. Working with a foreign counterpart doesn’t necessarily mean (that it’s) bad or deplorable,” Atienza said.

The UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines over China last July by rejecting Beijing’s nine-dash line claim on the entire South China Sea, outlawing China’s aggression vs. Filipino fishermen and reclamation projects by declaring that Filipino fishermen enjoy fishing rights at Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) and that the Spratly Islands, as well as the Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal and Recto (Reed) Bank, are all within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

Opposition says sellout

The opposition party at the House led by Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay, Tom Villarin of Akbayan and Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list, all part of the so-called “legitimate 8” of the minority bloc, had warned that a joint exploration would be a sellout of Philippine sovereignty.

“There was a similar agreement in the past, the JMSU, which was not renewed (when it lapsed in 2008) because of questions of violating our sovereignty. This nagging question is still current. Whether or not President Duterte pulls out of his travel bag a copy of the arbitral decision sustaining the Philippines’ sovereignty over the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea, China must be constantly reminded of the Philippines’ victory,” Lagman said in a news conference.

“It is to the Philippines’ national interest for China to be made always aware that the arbitral decision is the President’s gun that will shoot to set the tone of the bilateral talks. Philippine sovereignty is not made in China, it is ingrained in our history, our Constitution and was recently upheld by the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration,” Lagman said.

Alejano, for his part, lamented that the President is undermining its victory in the United Nation’s (UN)-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague by embracing China after all its continued aggression against Filipino fishermen and Philippine patrol ships in the South China Sea.

“We should be taking advantage of this ruling. However, the President is weakening our position. Our option is not limited to talking to China or going to war against China. We can talk to China without going to war,” Alejano said.

“Our UN victory will enable us to build consensus among nations. Instead, we are going after opening trade relations with China which would be a conflict of interest because such trade ties will make us indebted to China until such a time that we can’t make a move against them when they occupy the West Philippine Sea,” Alejano added.

Villarin shared Alejano’s view even as he said that China has nothing much to offer to the Philippines.

“We know that China has been displaying an aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), and such behavior will not change. Our standing is the UN ruling which upholds the UNCLoS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). China is a signatory of UNCLoS. This (ruling) gives us the moral high ground. We don’t want to lose that moral high ground in the community of nations,” Villarin pointed out.

“God made the world and the rest are made in China. What more we going to get from China aside from consumer goods? Nothing. What they did to us in the West Philippine Sea outweighs supposed economic benefits. We are the aggrieved party here so there are no positive gains from China. Our sovereignty is at stake, and independent foreign policy is not giving up sovereignty. Our sovereignty is not for sale,” Villarin said.

China pivot more than aid

The Philippines’ current pivot to China concerns trade more than aid, with $18 billion in export deals, $6 billion foreign direct investments (FDI), some $10 billion official development assistance (ODA) loans for railways and the prospect of about 3 million tourists, and modern technology for renewable energy, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said.

Salceda, in a recent TV interview said China is officially listed as third largest trading partner of the Philippines with about $17 billion investment in the country, next to Asean with $18 billion and Japan as the largest with $21 billion.

Contrary to common perceptions, he said the US comes only as the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner, with $16 billion in investments.

If informal trading is considered, he pointed out, China emerges as the Philippine’s largest partner, with about $32 billion, and such massive trade relations do not benefit from protection nor promotion.

Duterte yesterday spent his first full day in China, on a state visit that comes as he makes increasing overtures to Beijing while vocally scorning his US ally.

Since taking office on June 30, Duterte has repeatedly denounced the US and its President Barack Obama, suspended joint patrols in the South China Sea, and threatened further action, including an end to joint military exercises.

His posture is a stark reversal from the previous administration of Benigno Aquino, which took Beijing to an international tribunal over its extensive claims in the South China Sea and won a resounding victory.

Duterte initially took a hardline stance on the issue, vowing to ride a jet ski to the disputed Spratly Islands and plant his country’s flag there.

But his bravado has since softened and he has shown no sign of seeking to enforce the tribunal ruling which infuriated Beijing.
Duterte will meet top leaders including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

“Only China can help us,” he told the official Xinhua news agency Monday.

He was due to meet members of the Filipino community in Beijing later Wednesday.

The Philippines is hoping, among other things, that Beijing will repeal a ban on imports of its bananas — an economic sanction intended to punish Manila for its South China Sea stance.

The Philippines is one of several coastal nations which dispute China’s claims to virtually all of the strategically vital waters. It has been a key player in the dispute, which is an issue of intense interest in both Washington and Beijing.

Tensions have risen between the US and China over Washington’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific, a move which Beijing says is intended to contain its rise.

Duterte has said his trip will focus on promoting economic ties. Foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose has said: “There will be a lot, I mean a lot, of business contracts that will be signed.”

In an editorial Tuesday, China’s nationalistic Global Times newspaper called on the government to “reciprocate Duterte’s overture” by giving the Philippines access to fishing grounds near Scarborough Shoal — a move which would imply that such rights were China’s to give.

“Filipino fishermen fish on a shoestring and are unlikely to jeopardize the ecosystem of China’s waters,” the paper said.

China took control of the shoal in 2012 after a standoff with the Philippine navy. Manila has long claimed the feature for itself, maintaining that it controls the area’s fishing rights.

China itself has been accused of doing massive environmental damage to the South China Sea by building artificial islands, some with airstrips, capable of hosting military facilities.

In another editorial Wednesday, the Global Times said Washington had treated Manila “as a pawn” and Duterte was “redesigning Philippine foreign policy based on Philippine interests.”

Beijing has also enthusiastically endorsed Duterte’s war on drugs, which has seen more than 3,700 people killed and led the International Criminal Court to warn that those responsible could face charges.

China, which has frequently been criticized for its own approach to drug users, “is his best partner in the anti-drug fight”, the Global Times wrote.

Not in Duterte's administration

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said the country’s sea row with China will not be resolved under the Duterte administration.
Yasay, who is in Beijing for Duterte’s four-day state-visit in China, added that the maritime dispute over portions of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) cannot even be won in “our lifetime”.

“I do not have any pretensions or false hopes, that our disputes might take many years perhaps not even in our lifetime to be fully resolved,” the Philippines’ foreign minister said in his speech before Chinese business leaders at the Beijing Hotel.

The senior Philippine official also noted that RP-China relations should not be narrowed down on the sea row with the Asian economic power.

“Let me assure all of you, and I’m sure all of you would agree with me, that the sum total of our relationship between the Philippines and china is not limited to the South China Sea alone,” Yasay said.

“We have other and much bigger aspects of our relationship that must move forward regardless of our differences and our disputes,” he added.

DUTERTE'S VISIT TO CHINA SHOULD BE LAUDED - YASAY

Meanwhile, Yasay said that President Duterte’s Beijing visit should be lauded as a step to revitalize the Philippines’ relationship with China that was accordingly made cold by the past administration.

“This is a time for celebration. This is a time to be optimistic. This is a time to be confident as we foster mutual trust and confidence with each other,” he said.

“Our closer ties with China is not going to erode our close ties with the rest of our allies and traditional partners and the rest of the members of the international community,” Yasay also noted.

Nonetheless, the Foreign Affairs Secretary stressed that the Philippine government maintains that in any alliance that it enters, it has to serve public interest above anything else.

“We will not hesitate to take action to protect the paramount national interests if other countries will look down at us as somebody that will always be subservient to their national interests,” he said. No effect on ties with allies — Yasay

Deeper ties with China as a result of Duterte’s historic visit will not erode ties with other nations and longstanding allies, Yasay added.

Yasay made the statement in view of the circulating remarks that the country is moving forward to strengthen its ties with China at the cost of relationship with the United States.

“Our closer ties with China (are) not going to erode our close ties with the rest of our allies and traditional partners and the rest of the members of the international community,” Yasay said during a speech at a welcome luncheon for the Philippine delegation in China.

He assured that without question, the government will not neglect its duty to guard the national interest.

“But we will not hesitate to take action to protect the paramount national interests if other countries will look down at us as somebody that will always be subservient to their national interests,” he said.

TIME FOR CELEBRATION, OPTIMISM

After the icy relations with Beijing during the past administration, Yasay said the country should celebrate as the relationship of the two nation are now warming up.

“This is a time for celebration. This is a time to be optimistic. This is a time to be confident as we foster mutual trust and confidence with each other,” Yasay said.

Former President Aquino initiated an arbitration case on the territorial dispute before PCA.

Last July 12, the PCA released a landmark ruling that dismissed China’s claims on almost the entire South China Sea.

In a recent interview during the President’s state visit to Brunei, Yasay said the ruling won’t surface in the delegation’s trip to China. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, AFP

VIDEO: DUTERTE WITH FILIPINO COMMUNITY IN BRUNEI
("Hindi naman ako galit sa CHR, I am simply exasperated kaya i called them [Human Rights critics] 'mga bobo".)
(ON 'STATESMAN' CRITICISM: 'Wala ako dyan, hindi ako marunong ng Prim and Proper, tinangggap nyo ako na ganito and that"s why i am President')

WATCH; Nakakatuwa - PINASAYA NI DUTERTE! Ang Mga Filipino Community sa BRUNEI sa Kanyang Speech

 
https://youtu.be/M8PX1SZOXhk?t=173
DUTERTE PINAHIYA ANG CHR SA BRUNEI! Sinabihang BOBO During His Speech in Filipino Community Philippines Government Philippines Published on Oct 16, 2016 PROUD DDS FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Philippinesg... LIKE AND SHARE VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/Philippinesg...

Duterte has expressed his desire to build on the stellar accomplishments of the administration of outgoing president Benigno Aquino III, particularly the latter’s good governance initiatives and critical structural reforms that transformed the Philippines from being “the sick man of Asia” into “Asia’s rising tiger.” Of his ten-point socioeconomic agenda revealed on Monday, June 20, for example, his first point was to continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary and trade policies.

However, he intends to depart from Aquino’s legacy of instituting slow but steady macroeconomic reform by advancing an economic agenda which seeks to upgrade, accelerate as well as expand the government’s basic services that shall render the country’s macroeconomic environment more conducive for the flourishing of businesses, influx of investments and conduct of seamless trade within the country and the greater ASEAN region.

Some megaprojects worth anticipating include: (a) three major railway systems, namely the Mindanao railway, Manila-Bicol railway, and Manila-Batangas railway; (b) Zamboanga Ecozone, Southern Mindanao Growth Corridor (General Santos growth corridor and Davao Gulf Industrial corridor); and the South Mindanao-North Sulawesi ro-ro link, among others.

Duterte intends to overcome the alleged structural dissonance between macroeconomic reform which has been the hallmark of Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid” program and concrete improvement of living conditions and standards of Juan dela Cruz.

In doing so, he has talked about pursuing the following: generation of domestic jobs; increase of employment; abolition of contractualization; promotion of livelihood; agricultural modernization; and entrepreneurial, technological and industrial advancement with just taxation and equitable distribution of wealth while caring for the environment for sustainable development. Category News & Politics

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Defense chief wants scaled down war games BY JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA, TMT ON ON OCTOBER 19, 2016 NATION


LORENZANA

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday said he would recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the scaling down of war games between the Philippines and the United States instead of terminating the joint drills for good.

Lorenzana added that there is no decision to suspend the military exercises for next year but the President has told him to make a presentation on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the war games in a Cabinet meeting next month.

“The VFA is still on. Everything else is going on,” Lorenzana told members of the Commission on Appointments during a hearing on his ad interim appointment as Defense secretary.

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon was inquiring about the status of the military defense agreements with the US and if there is already a decision to terminate or suspend them.

“If the President is really intent on what he is telling the media, I think I will recommend the scaling down of [the military]exercises next year,” Lorenzana said.

Duterte last month announced that there would be no more joint PH-US war games after the Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise or Phiblex, which was held in several locations in Luzon and Palawan last October 4 to 12.

Suspension of the joint military exercises with the US, according to the President, would not only be for this year but throughout his six-year term, or until 2022.

Duterte said the government would maintain the military alliance with the US as provided in the Mutual DefenseTreaty (MDT) but would establish new alliances for trade and commerce particularly with China and Russia.

Lorenzana said he might recommend to the President the suspension of Phiblex, as well as the Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) military exercises also with the US, and concentrate on human assistance disaster response and counter-terrorism, among others.

He admitted that joint drills like Phiblex and Balikatan and are benefitting local troops, although American are getting more from the war games.

Lorenzana did not elaborate.

Drilon asked Lorenzana why the government wants to terminate the war games when the Philippines is also gaining from them.

“I really don’t know because the President has been issuing these statements without first consulting the Cabinet,” Lorenzana said.

On a supposed plan of the government to veer away from the US and reach out to China and Russia, the Defense chief said the Philippines is just expanding its sources of materials.

He, however, also admitted that the move would result in an inter-operability issue as most of the equipment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are US-made or made by allies of the US.

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RELATED(2) FROM ABS-CBN

Arroyo may boost US-PH ties in Clinton win – analyst ABS-CBN News Posted at Oct 23 2016 01:54 PM


Hillary Clinton and House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. File/Composite

MANILA -- Former President and now House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may help in improving the Philippines’ relations with the United States, if former American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wins the US presidential race, a political analyst said Sunday.

Political science professor Ramon Casiple pointed out that Arroyo has formed a close friendship with Clinton through her husband, former President Bill Clinton, Arroyo’s classmate at Georgetown University.

“Mahalaga rin ‘yun na informally kasi you came from the same school, magkakilala na kayo, may pinag-usapan na kayo dati, pareho kayo mag-isip,” Casiple said. “Si Hillary Clinton, of course, may trust na kay GMA ‘yan dahil kaklase n’ya ang asawa niya, at of course personal sila ng magkaibigan.”

[It is important that you came from the same school because you already know each, you have had previous dialogues, you have the same mindset. Hillary Clinton, of course, trusts GMA because she was a classmate of Clinton’s husband, and they’re also friends.]

Ties between Manila and its only treaty ally, Washington, have soured after incumbent US President Barack Obama raised concerns over the extrajudicial bloodbath in the Philippines’ war on drugs, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to unleash a string of anti-American remarks, which led last week to an announcement of his “separation” from the US.


Is the Founder and Executive Director of Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER) in Manila, Philippines; Chairperson, Consortium on Electoral Reforms (CER) ; Consultant,Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)  SOURCE CDPI-ASIA

Casiple said Arroyo’s personal ties with Clintons and their supposed trust in the lawmaker can be used to improve chilling ties between the US and Philippines.

“May pwedeng bridge sa communication. ‘Yun ang isang maganda diyan, the message will be clear on both sides,” he added. [There is a potential bridge of communication now. That is one of the advantages there, the message will be clear on both sides.]

Arroyo and Mr. Clinton have maintained communication after their stay at Georgetown University in the 1960s. The American leader had invited Arroyo to speak at his Clinton Global Initiative meetings, and has also written a letter to the lawmaker when she was still under hospital arrest.

When Mrs. Clinton went on an official visit to Manila in 2009, then President Arroyo gave her the Sikatuna award, a recognition given to individuals who have strengthened relations between their country and the Philippines.

Americans will choose their new president between democratic presidential nominee Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on November 8.

READ: Clinton a better counterpart for Duterte: analysts


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