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"I'M NO PUPPET OF ANY COUNTRY" - DU30 REACTS TO COMMENT BY U.S. HE WAS 'SPARKING DISTRESS' AROUND THE WORLD
[RELATED: Joint exercises with Japan possible­—Rody]
(
PH, Japan reaffirm maritime cooperation)


OCTOBER 25 -President Rodrigo Duterte lambasts an Inquirer report accusing him of “sparking international distress” during a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 prior to his departure for Japan for an official visit on Oct. 25. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Following remarks that his pronouncements were causing distress around the world, President Rodrigo Duterte assailed the United States anew as he reiterated his plan to chart an independent foreign policy for the Philippines. “I am not a puppet of any country,” said the President on Tuesday in his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 before leaving for an official visit to Japan. Duterte blasted the United States, particularly Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, for asking Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay to tell him to “tone down your rhetoric against America.” “Eh kahapon tumawag si Secretary Yasay, nandito raw itong siya [Russel]. Ang sabi ni … nag-usap daw sila, sabi na, ‘if you can just tone down your rhetoric against America.’ Sabi ko, huwag ninyo akong ganunin,” Duterte said. READ MORE...RELATED, Joint exercises with Japan possible­—Rody...

ALSO: Philippines still largest recipient of US aid in Asia-Pacific’
[RELATED: US envoy leaving - 'I've never met warmer people than in PH']


OCOTOBER 27 -“Let’s remember that the Philippines is our largest recipient of military assistance in this region,” Goldberg said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart. AP
The Philippines remains the largest recipient of US military assistance in the Asia-Pacific region with $66 million in foreign funding in 2015. Outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg explained that other countries receive larger US assistance because these are “conflict” areas. “Let’s remember that the Philippines is our largest recipient of military assistance in this region,” Goldberg said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart. Last year alone, he said the Philippines received $66 million in foreign military funding that helped purchase defense equipment. READ MORE...RELATED,
US envoy leaving: 'I've never met warmer people than in PH'...

ALSO: Philippines, Japan sign military, economic deals
[RELATED: Duterte says Japan a true friend]


OCTOBER 27 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, is greeted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP
TOKYO — The leaders of Japan and the Philippines agreed Wednesday to cooperate in promoting regional peace and stability, and acknowledged the importance of their alliances with the US, although a joint statement focused largely on Japan's contribution to Philippine maritime security and other projects totaling a 21 billion yen ($210 million) loan. In a news conference, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, after his first round of talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said he expected Japan to continue being an important part of maritime security in the region, including the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing have overlapping claims. There, they did not mention their security alliances with the US. But in a statement issued later, the two sides acknowledged the importance of "their network of friendship and alliances," particularly one between them. Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters that their alliances with the US were recognized, though not in writing. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte says Japan a true friend...

ALSO: Duterte affirms US alliance despite tough talk
[RELATED: China’s overseas takeover spree meets growing resistance at home]


OCTOBER 27 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Duterte is on a three-day official visit to Japan. AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko TOKYO — Tokyo and Manila leaders agreed to cooperate in promoting regional peace and stability and acknowledged the importance of their alliances with the US, after tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the Philippines to be free of foreign troops and criticized American foreign policy. In a news conference, Duterte, after his first round of talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, said he expected Japan to continue being an important part of maritime security in the region, including the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing have overlapping claims. In a statement, the two sides acknowledged the importance of "their network of friendship and alliances," particularly one between them. Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters that their alliances with the US were recognized, though not in writing. READ MORE...RELATED, China’s overseas takeover spree meets growing resistance at home...

ALSO FULL TEXT: Joint statement of the Philippines and Japan


PCTPBER 27 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, listens to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a joint press conference following their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. AP/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool
On the invitation of the Government of Japan, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, undertook an Official Visit to Japan from 25 to 27 October 2016. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and His Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a productive Summit Meeting in a friendly, forward-looking and constructive atmosphere. With a view to further promoting the "Strategic Partnership” of the Philippines and Japan as two maritime countries bound by shared basic values, the two leaders state the following: READ FULL TEXT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte: I’m no puppet of any country: President reacts to comments he was sparking distress around the world


President Rodrigo Duterte lambasts an Inquirer report accusing him of “sparking international distress” during a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 prior to his departure for Japan for an official visit on Oct. 25. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, OCTOBER 31, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Nestor Corrales / @NCorralesINQ  October 25, 2016 - Following remarks that his pronouncements were causing distress around the world, President Rodrigo Duterte assailed the United States anew as he reiterated his plan to chart an independent foreign policy for the Philippines.

“I am not a puppet of any country,” said the President on Tuesday in his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 before leaving for an official visit to Japan.

Duterte blasted the United States, particularly Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, for asking Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay to tell him to “tone down your rhetoric against America.”

“Eh kahapon tumawag si Secretary Yasay, nandito raw itong siya [Russel]. Ang sabi ni … nag-usap daw sila, sabi na, ‘if you can just tone down your rhetoric against America.’ Sabi ko, huwag ninyo akong ganunin,” Duterte said.

READ MORE...

Russel arrived in Manila on Sunday to clarify the President’s statement that he was cutting military and economic ties with the US.

On Monday, Russel said Duterte’s controversial remarks had sparked distress around the world.

READ: US: Duterte sparking distress around the world

Duterte took notice of this as he showed his audience the banner story of today’s Inquirer, whose headline said Duterte was causing international distress according to the US.

During his speech, the President assailed the US, saying it was them who started the word war.

“Ang nag-una sila. Remember ang puno’t dulo nito ano? Iyong eleksyon, I made a comment in narration of an actual event which happened in Davao and which was covered by all media outlets there, tapos the ambassador said something not very nice,” he said.

Duterte was referring to the comments of outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg on his rape remarks during the campaign period. The President has repeatedly mentioned this in his public speeches, saying Goldberg should not have intervened in the country’s elections.

“You know, before we can move forward, Mr. America, there are things, so many things. The massacre of the Filipino people before, these are historical hurts that would never go away, depende na lang kung maka-presidente ang Pilipinas ng tuta ninyo. You count me out,” he said.

“I’m not one of them. I am not also a tuta of any country. Mind you, only ang puwede lang mag-tuta sa akin ang Pilipino, period. Walang iba,” he added.

RELATED STORIES

US warns Duterte over rhetoric, crime war

‘Nobody wins betting against US’

------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Joint exercises with Japan possible­—Rody posted October 28, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sandy Araneta

PH, Japan reaffirm maritime cooperation


HANDS TOGETHER. President Rodrigo Duterte (center), accompanied by Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade (right) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana applaud the end of Japan’s coast guard drills in Yokohama on Thursday, on the final day of his state visit during which tensions in the South China Sea have been a key topic. AFP


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he is open to having joint exercises with Japan, after he announced the end of military exercises with the United States.

“Joint exercises? Yes, of course... In general terms, yes, no problem,” Duterte said during an interview with reporters after he visited the Japanese Coast Guard on Thursday afternoon.

Duterte said patrol vessels from Japan would be used within the country’s territorial waters, including the West Philippine Sea.

In July, the Coast Guards of both countries conducted their sixth Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Exercise.

In Japan, Duterte said he saw no issue with China if the Philippines used patrol vessels acquired from Japan to patrol the West Philippine Sea.

“I do not think they would stop us,” he said, referring to the Chinese.

During his three-day official visit to Japan, Duterte and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed their countries’ maritime cooperation.

Their joint statement said that Japan would provide patrol vessels and other equipment for the Philippine Coast Guard.

Duterte and Abe also witnessed the signing of the Exchange of Notes on Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for the two large-scale patrol vessels to the Philippines.

Duterte lauded Japan’s intention to provide high-speed boats to the Philippines.

“Japan is the number one donor in terms of assistance and help including some of the vessels that have been shown here, especially the light ones, the rubber boats. It is for mobility. That’s what we need, not an aircraft carrier. You know, the Philippines is a group of... 7,048 islands all in all. We need the rubber boats to make patrols inland, including rivers,” Duterte said.


TRACKING TECHNIQUES. A Japan Coast Guard security team displays tracking and capture techniques by rigid-hulled inflatable boats against an unidentified ship at sea in Yokohama Thursday, with visiting President Duterte and some of his Cabinet men (not in picture) observing the coastguard drills. AFP

He also said he would like two frigates similar to those being used by the Coast Guard for use by the Bureau of Customs.

In September, Duterte announced that he would end joint military exercises with the United States.

In October, he expressed openness to holding war games with China and Russia.

While in Japan, however, Duterte was quick to explain that no military alliance with China was formed during his recently concluded four-day state visit there.

Also on Thursday, Defense Undersecretary for Finance Raymundo Elefante said the five TC-90 surveillance aircraft that the Defense Department will lease from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces will be stripped of their surveillance equipment before they are turned over to the Philippines.

“Those things that you mentioned will be removed by them because it’s theirs. But we will be equipping the aircraft with our own surveillance equipment,” Elefante said.

The light long-range patrol planes that would be leased for $7,000 each year will be used by the Philippine Navy to patrol the country’s maritime domain, especially in the disputed West Philippine Sea where China has been occupying areas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

The aircraft are part of the JMSDF stock of older patrol planes.

Elefante said the first delivery of two planes will be in March or April next year and the rest within the second quarter.

He said a couple of Navy pilots will have to train first in Japan.

The base of the aircraft would be at Sangley Point in Cavite, the home port of the Philippine Fleet.

On Wednesday, Duterte and Abe signed agreements for the Philippines to acquire vessels and training aircraft from Japan.

The vessels and patrol aircraft are expected to enhance the country’s security.

The TC-90s will also likely be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Before issuing their joint statements, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the Exchange of Notes on Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for the two large-scale patrol vessels for the Philippines.



Duterte said he expected Japan to continue playing an important role in maritime security in the region, including the South China Sea, where Manila has territorial disputes with Beijing.
 Japan also intend to provide the Philippines with high-speed boats and other equipment as part of counter-terrorism measures. Japan also agreed to support infrastructure and agricultural promotion projects in the Philippines to help economic development.



On Wednesday, Duterte underscored that stronger ties with Japan would continue to be a priority for the Philippines.

“We look to Japan as a steady fulcrum in our regional engagement as the Philippines’ first and only bilateral free trade partner to date,” Duterte said.



Duterte told an economic forum in Tokyo that his government was boosting investments in infrastructure and rural development as he urged Japanese businessmen to invest in the Philippines.



LOPEZ

At the Philippine Economic Forum organized by the Japan External Trade Organization and other groups, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez also invited Japanese investment in information technology and business process outsourcing.



Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told the same forum that the government was working to ease limits to foreign ownership of Philippine businesses. He said the economy could sustain economic growth of 7 percent or higher.



“This is a fine time for looking at the Philippine economy as an investment destination. The bilateral relations between Japan and the Philippines has deepened, and we look forward to more intensive cooperation,” Dominguez said.



“We look forward to investment inflows from Japan, especially those that will support strategic investments in the infrastructure and industry,” Dominguez added.



Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol invited Japanese investors to the consider investing in rubber, fish and marine products, coconuts, and forest products such as wood and fiber.


Charito Plaza, director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, said Manila will explore new types of economic zones including a dedicated defense industrial zone.
 She said this could help the Philippines modernize its armed forces, improve its defense capability, and provide employment.


PHILSTAR

Philippines still largest recipient of US aid in Asia-Pacific’ By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 27, 2016 - 12:00am 1 12 googleplus1 0


“Let’s remember that the Philippines is our largest recipient of military assistance in this region,” Goldberg said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart. AP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines remains the largest recipient of US military assistance in the Asia-Pacific region with $66 million in foreign funding in 2015.

Outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg explained that other countries receive larger US assistance because these are “conflict” areas.

“Let’s remember that the Philippines is our largest recipient of military assistance in this region,” Goldberg said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.

Last year alone, he said the Philippines received $66 million in foreign military funding that helped purchase defense equipment.

READ MORE...

He noted that the US also provided $42 million to the Philippines out of $60 million total in the US maritime security initiative.

“The Philippines was the largest recipient. Why? Because it’s our friend, our ally and because it has the need but the Philippines, if it wants its own defense capability, will have to spend more also,” he added.

The ambassador said the fundamentals of Philippine-US relationship are “very strong and solid,” but the President’s statements combined with insults and profane language he used against the US caused uncertainty in the relations.

He added that it would be a good step to sit down, constructively talk about what it is at issue, if there are problems, changes required and if there are things that the Philippine side wants.

“But right now we’re just dealing with the series of statements without the ability of Cabinet members to really fully explain or discuss,” Goldberg said.

Meeting canceled

Meanwhile, a scheduled meeting this month between the US and the Philippine military and defense planners on holding joint military exercises in the country next year has been canceled.

Military officials said the joint Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) meeting has been canceled indefinitely.

“Originally, the meeting was set last Oct. 24 but was moved to Nov. 22 because we want the meeting to be held after the US elections.”

Earlier, the President had declared that under his term, he would no longer allow joint exercises of US and Filipino troops in the country.

But a source said the President’s statements have nothing to do with the postponement of the yearly engagements, which include the preparation and planning for next year’s Balikatan exercises, joint Amphibious Landing Exercises and the Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training.

The exercises include training on humanitarian and disaster response, which benefited the Philippines largely during the onslaught of killer Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas in 2013.

Sources also disclosed that to date, there is no concrete guidance from the President yet to terminate the joint war drills with the US.

In the absence of concrete guidance, both military and defense officials are still planning for next year’s bilateral exercises.

“We are crafting what would be agreeable for both of us (US and the Philippines Armed Forces) and this will be presented for approval by the President during a Cabinet meeting next month,” a source said. – With Jaime Laude

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RELATED FROM RAPPLER.COM

US envoy leaving: 'I've never met warmer people than in PH' Paterno Esmaquel II @paterno_ii Published 8:00 AM, October 23, 2016 Updated 4:50 PM, October 23, 2016

On tirades against him by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg says, 'I'm a diplomat'

 
https://youtu.be/VUqOhWNLC5U?t=30
Goldberg: Never met warmer, more friendly people

MANILA, Philippines – Despite being called "gay" and a "son of a bitch" by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg is leaving Manila soon with the best memories of the Filipino.

"I've served on 4 continents. I've never met warmer and more friendly people than in this country," Goldberg said in a Rappler Talk interview with Maria Ressa on Thursday, October 20.

Goldberg, the US ambassador to the Philippines since November 2013, had previously served as ambassador to Bolivia (2006-2008); chief of mission in Pristina, Kosovo (2004-2006); and deputy chief of mission in Santiago, Chile (2001-2004).

The Spanish-speaking diplomat also worked as consular and political officer at the US embassy in Bogotia, Colombia, and as political-economic officer in Pretoria, South Africa.

Reflecting on his 3-year stay in the Philippines, Goldberg said: "It is a wonderful feeling – the feeling toward Americans, the feeling to everybody, the welcoming that they give. I'll always bring that with me, too."

"And it's important to remember in all the hoopla about political events and geostrategy and the rest, that at bottom, the people of the two countries really, at this point, are so interconnected that that image of Filipinos and their friendship will stay with me as well," Goldberg said.

According to Pew Research, Filipinos have the most "favorable" view of the US based on a global survey of countries' attitudes toward the superpower. In 2015, 92% of Filipinos surveyed said they had a favorable view of the US compared to 54% for China. An earlier survey showed more Filipinos favor the US than Americans. (READ: Filipinos like the US even more than Americans do – Pew Research)

US envoy on Duterte's tirades

Goldberg is soon ending his tour of duty in the Philippines, and is set to be replaced by Ambassador Sung Kim.

Goldberg's departure from the Philippines had been scheduled even before Duterte took office on June 30. The White House, in fact, announced Goldberg's replacement as early as May 19.

It was while waiting for his replacement that Goldberg got a taste of Duterte.

To the point of calling him "bakla" (gay), Duterte has slammed Goldberg even on the campaign trail. This is because Goldberg, for one, criticized rape jokes after Duterte joked about the rape of an Australian missionary in 1989.

The senior US diplomat, however, said he is "used to it."


STRONG TIES. US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg visits graves at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines after the Memorial Day Ceremony on May 29, 2016. File photo from the US embassyâ??s Facebook page

Goldberg, as US ambassador to Bolivia, was even expelled from his host country after the Bolivian president accused him of "conspiring against democracy and seeking the division of Bolivia."

Goldberg said: "You just have to be ready for these things. What I will say is that it's not necessarily me or anything that's said about me, but that in the US, when people hear that, they think about the Philippines and what they're thinking about the United States, and that's not a good thing, I think, for a friend and ally." (READ: Duterte rhetoric causes 'head-scratching' in US – envoy)

The outgoing US ambassador added: "I'm a diplomat. I'm not here on a personal adventure. I'm here representing my country." – Rappler.com


PHILSTAR

Philippines, Japan sign military, economic deals By Mari Yamaguchi (Associated Press) | Updated October 27, 2016 - 7:49am 14 242 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, is greeted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP

TOKYO — The leaders of Japan and the Philippines agreed Wednesday to cooperate in promoting regional peace and stability, and acknowledged the importance of their alliances with the US, although a joint statement focused largely on Japan's contribution to Philippine maritime security and other projects totaling a 21 billion yen ($210 million) loan.

In a news conference, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, after his first round of talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said he expected Japan to continue being an important part of maritime security in the region, including the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing have overlapping claims.

There, they did not mention their security alliances with the US. But in a statement issued later, the two sides acknowledged the importance of "their network of friendship and alliances," particularly one between them. Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters that their alliances with the US were recognized, though not in writing.

READ MORE...

Duterete, in his second round of talks only among close aides, reassured Abe that he has no intention to severe diplomatic ties with the US, Hagiuda said.

Since Duterte took office in June, Manila's relationship with Washington has quickly become strained.

JAPAN STAUNCH US ALLY

Japan is a staunch US ally and hosts 50,000 American troops, while Duterte has repeatedly spoken of distancing his country from Washington, often in crude terms.

The presence of US troops in five Philippine military camps was established under a security deal signed under Duterte's predecessor as a counter to China's growing military assertiveness in the region.

Earlier Wednesday, Duterte said that he wants his country to be free of foreign troops, possibly within two years. "I want them out," he said.

"I want to be friends to China," he told an audience of businesspeople in Tokyo. "I do not need the arms. I do not want missiles established in my country. I do not need to have the airports to host the bombers."

As president, Duterte has reached out to Beijing while criticizing US foreign policy. His approach has caused consternation in both the US and Japan.

Still, Abe welcomed Duterte's recent efforts to improve ties with China.

"The South China Sea issue is directly linked to the region's peace and stability and a matter of interest for the entire international society," he said. "In that regard, Japan welcomes the effort of President Duterte visiting China and endeavoring to improve the Philippine-China relations."

Officials declined to provide details of their second round of talks, in which Abe was expected to ask Duterte specifically about his foreign policy.

SPOKE OF HIS TIRADES

The Philippine leader spoke about the US at the end of his prepared remarks on economic development and investment, saying he was addressing what he knows is "what is in everybody's mind."

"I may have ruffled the feelings of some, but that is how it is," he said. "We will survive, without the assistance of America, maybe a lesser quality of life, but as I said, we will survive."

Duterte has announced canceling planned joint military exercises with the United States, and preparatory meetings for next year's joint combat exercises between American and Filipino forces in the Philippines have been shrouded in uncertainty.

Explaining his policy, Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay, also in Tokyo, said Duterte respects all bilateral security agreements with the US and that he has no intention to renege or breach them, but the exercises are not helpful in fostering Manila's friendly relations with Beijing.

"It is in this context that we will not be undertaking (them) during (Duterte's) administration especially so that we are trying to resolve this disputes with China in a peaceful manner," Yasay told a separate news conference.

On Wednesday, Japan and the Philippines signed agreements including Japan's provision of two coast guard boats and T-90 military trainer aircraft as part of its contribution to step up Philippine maritime security capability. Japan also agreed to support infrastructure and agricultural promotion projects in the Philippines to help economic development.

"Japan will continue to play an important role in modernizing the capabilities of the Philippines" in maritime security, Duterte said. "The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region ... and the peaceful settlements of disputes including the South China Sea."

Duterte is on a three-day visit to Japan. After two rounds of talks with Abe, he is attending a banquet hosted by the Japanese leader. On Thursday, he is set to meet Emperor Akihito.

Associated Press videojournalist Emily Wang in Tokyo and writer Jim Gomez in Manila, the Philippines, contributed to this report.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, second from left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bow to their national flags during a welcome ceremony at the latter's official residence in Tokyo Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP)

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte says Japan a true friend By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 29, 2016 - 12:00am 8 255 googleplus0 0


“I discussed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in full detail the state of Philippines-Japan ties and we identified points of collaboration that would lead to a common path towards the achievement of shared objectives,” President Rodrigo Duterte said. AP

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Japan is and will always be a true friend of the Philippines, said President Duterte as he cited gains from his three-day state visit to Tokyo.

Duterte arrived Thursday night at the Davao International Airport on a chartered Philippine Airlines flight.

“I discussed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in full detail the state of Philippines-Japan ties and we identified points of collaboration that would lead to a common path towards the achievement of shared objectives,” the President said.

The President stressed that by all counts and by any measure, the Philippines’ relation with Japan is excellent.

“And we agreed that we can take things to a higher level by harnessing our respective strengths and using these so both countries can have their economic strength further grow and our countries can continue to play their rightful role in the region,” he pointed out.

The President said Japan is in the position to remain as the Philippines’ top trading partner as more than $1.90 billion in trade deals had been signed during the visit, including one with Toyota Motors and Mitsubishi.

“Economic cooperation remains a linchpin between our dynamic relations. As I sought greater partnership to create an enabling environment for both our businesses to thrive, I encouraged private businesses in Japan to invest in the Philippines,” the President added.

The President likewise cited Japan’s being the No. 1 Official Development Assistance partner of the Philippines.

“We also agreed to harness Official Development Assistance to support inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country. Japan is our number one ODA partner and under the JICA, high-impact projects benefiting our urban and rural areas will be undertaken,” Duterte said, referring to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The President also pointed out that Japan has been a supporter of the peace process in Mindanao. The bulk of Japan’s assistance to the Philippines goes to Mindanao.

“I sought and received Japan’s continued support for the peace and development agenda in Mindanao, as we move a step forward towards the goal of the just and lasting peace for the peoples of Mindanao and for our country,” the President further said.

Not outdoing each other

Earlier in Tokyo, Finance Secretary Carlos Domiguez downplayed an impression that China and Japan were trying to outdo each other in providing investments and loans to the Philippines after Duterte’s successive official trips to both countries.

“We want peace and friendship with everybody. It might look like competition but the goal is to integrate our economy more to ASEAN and north Asia – China, South Korea and Japan. All this including ASEAN is a two billion people market,” the finance chief said.

Dominguez is hoping the Philippines can achieve greater competitiveness in the region.

“We want something more like EU, or AFTA – Mexico US Canada – or South America. Even among friends you are competing. But we don’t want to compete, we want cooperation,” he said.

The President came home from China with about $24 billion in concessionary loans and investments.

“China said they will have available for Official Development Assistance $6 billion; for loans from Bank of China $3 billion; grant of $15 million. That is for the official side,” he said.

Beijing’s investment and loan is pegged at around $10 billion. “Then there is another $14 billion business-to-business Memorandum of Understanding,” Dominguez noted. In Japan, Dominguez said the B-to-B totaled $2 billion. – Christina Mendez


PHILSTAR

Duterte affirms US alliance despite tough talk By Mari Yamaguchi (Associated Press) | Updated October 27, 2016 - 9:36am 7 205 googleplus1 1


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Duterte is on a three-day official visit to Japan. AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO — Tokyo and Manila leaders agreed to cooperate in promoting regional peace and stability and acknowledged the importance of their alliances with the US, after tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the Philippines to be free of foreign troops and criticized American foreign policy.

In a news conference, Duterte, after his first round of talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, said he expected Japan to continue being an important part of maritime security in the region, including the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing have overlapping claims.

In a statement, the two sides acknowledged the importance of "their network of friendship and alliances," particularly one between them. Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters that their alliances with the US were recognized, though not in writing.

READ MORE...

Duterte, in his second round of talks only among close aides, reassured Abe that he has no intention to sever diplomatic ties with the US, Hagiuda said.

Since Duterte took office in June, Manila's relationship with Washington has quickly become strained.

Japan is a staunch US ally and hosts 50,000 American troops, while Duterte has repeatedly spoken of distancing his country from Washington, often in crude terms.

The presence of US troops in five Philippine military camps was established under a security deal signed under Duterte's predecessor as a counter to China's growing military assertiveness in the region.

Earlier Wednesday, Duterte said that he wants his country to be free of foreign troops, possibly within two years. "I want them out," he said.

"I want to be friends to China," he told an audience of businesspeople in Tokyo. "I do not need the arms. I do not want missiles established in my country. I do not need to have the airports to host the bombers."

As president, Duterte has reached out to Beijing while criticizing US foreign policy. His approach has caused consternation in both the US and Japan.

JAPAN WELCOMES DUTERTE'S EFFORTS WITH CHINA

Still, Abe welcomed Duterte's recent efforts to improve ties with China.

"The South China Sea issue is directly linked to the region's peace and stability and a matter of interest for the entire international society," he said. "In that regard, Japan welcomes the effort of President Duterte visiting China and endeavoring to improve the Philippine-China relations."

Officials declined to provide details of their second round of talks, in which Abe was expected to ask Duterte specifically about his foreign policy. Their joint statement focused largely on Japan's contribution to Philippine maritime security and other projects totaling a 21 billion yen ($210 million) loan.

The Philippine leader spoke about the US at the end of his prepared remarks on economic development and investment, saying he was addressing what he knows is "what is in everybody's mind."

DUTERTE STATED AGAIN: PH WILL SURVIVE WITHOUT U.S.

"I may have ruffled the feelings of some, but that is how it is," he said. "We will survive, without the assistance of America, maybe a lesser quality of life, but as I said, we will survive."

Duterte has announced canceling planned joint military exercises with the United States, and preparatory meetings for next year's joint combat exercises between American and Filipino forces in the Philippines have been shrouded in uncertainty.

Explaining his policy, Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay, also in Tokyo, said Duterte respects all bilateral security agreements with the US and that he has no intention to renege or breach them, but the exercises are not helpful in fostering Manila's friendly relations with Beijing.

"It is in this context that we will not be undertaking (them) during (Duterte's) administration especially so that we are trying to resolve this disputes with China in a peaceful manner," Yasay told a separate news conference.

On Wednesday, Japan and the Philippines signed agreements including Japan's provision of two coast guard boats and T-90 military trainer aircraft as part of its contribution to step up Philippine maritime security capability. Japan also agreed to support infrastructure and agricultural promotion projects in the Philippines to help economic development.

"Japan will continue to play an important role in modernizing the capabilities of the Philippines" in maritime security, Duterte said. "The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region ... and the peaceful settlements of disputes including the South China Sea."

Duterte is on a three-day visit to Japan. After two rounds of talks with Abe, he is attending a banquet hosted by the Japanese leader. On Thursday, he is set to meet Emperor Akihito.

Associated Press videojournalist Emily Wang in Tokyo and writer Jim Gomez in Manila, the Philippines, contributed to this report.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

China’s overseas takeover spree meets growing resistance at home Published October 29, 2016, 10:01 PM Share it! By Kelvin Chan


Flag of China (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Hong Kong (AP) – Corporate China’s global shopping binge barreled on this week with more multibillion dollar deals, but Beijing is starting to discover that there are limits to what its money can buy.

In recent days German and European Union officials have moved to tighten up scrutiny or even block high-profile acquisitions in the latest sign of growing opposition to Chinese purchases of companies in key industries due to national security or competition concerns.

Swiss chemical giant Syngenta said Tuesday that EU regulators examining its proposed $43-billion takeover by state-owned ChemChina have “recently requested a large amount of additional information,” which will drag the approval process out into the first quarter of next year.

At about the same time, the German government withdrew clearance for a Chinese company to buy semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron in a $670-million deal over unspecified security-related concerns – a decision that threatens to complicate German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s trade visit to China next week.

“The surge in Chinese acquisitions of high-tech companies certainly has policymakers on high alert, especially in Germany,” said Bjorn Conrad, vice president of research at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, which tracks China’s overseas investment. “That is because China is not playing by the rules.”

THE EUROPEANS

He said some of the deals reflect a political strategy in which state-owned Chinese companies, spurred by an aggressive outbound industrial policy, unfairly exploit Europe’s open markets to gobble up companies with core technologies to speed the country’s technological advance.

European policymakers “are not naive when it comes to government-driven acquisitions. They will apply a much higher level of scrutiny in the future,” Conrad said.

Chinese companies have invested nearly $200 billion so far this year in overseas firms, almost double the amount for all of 2015, according to Dealogic. The transactions have included a German robot maker, a Finnish video game company and an American appliance maker.

Just this week, HNA Group paid $6.5 billion for a 25 percent stake in the Hilton hotel chain, after one of its units earlier this year bought Carlson Hotels, operator of the Radisson and Country Inns & Suites brands. Meanwhile, Beijing-based China Oceanwide Holdings Group agreed to buy US insurer Genworth Financial for $2.7 billion.

However, about $40 billion in proposed Chinese purchases has been cancelled since the start of 2015, reflecting resistance to such deals, according to Dealogic.

IN AUSTRALIA

In Australia, the government blocked a Chinese group from leasing a Sydney electricity grid in an unusual turnaround, citing classified national security reasons. The deal involving state-owned State Grid Corp. and Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure group would have earned the government more than 10 billion Australian dollars (then-$7.6 billion).

The August decision was unusual in that the government had initially invited the companies to bid and only rejected them at the last minute on general security concerns unrelated to any specific country, said Hans Hendrischke, a professor at the University of Sydney Business School who specializes in Chinese investment in Australia.

However, “overall, certainly, I think the political outcome is clearly that the perception is created as if all of these are somehow directed against Chinese acquisitions of assets in foreign countries.”

Last month, 16 lawmakers wrote to the Government Accountability Office calling for a review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a federal inter-agency panel also known as CFIUS, saying it should be updated or expanded to keep pace with the surge of foreign acquisitions in strategically important sectors.

Specifically, the letter said the committee’s powers might need to be widened in light of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda’s recent purchases of US theater chains and the Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, citing fears about Beijing’s censorship and propaganda efforts.

Tighter scrutiny by CFIUS or the prospect of it has already thwarted some high-tech deals.

State-owned Tsinghua Unisplendour in February scrapped a plan to buy a 15 percent stake in disk drive maker Western Digital, which would have made it the biggest shareholder, after the committee decided to investigate the $3.8 billion investment on national security grounds. A month earlier, electronics giant Philips aborted the sale of a majority stake in its LED components and auto lighting business to Chinese investor GO Scale Capital.


PHILSTAR

FULL TEXT: Joint statement of the Philippines and Japan (philstar.com) | Updated October 27, 2016 - 8:21am 3 625 googleplus2 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, is greeted by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. President Duterte, speaking in a country that is a staunch U.S. ally and hosts 50,000 American troops, said Wednesday that he wants his country to be free of foreign troops, possibly within two years. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

 MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Japan issued a joint statement during the state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Tokyo.

Read the full statement below.


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, listens to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a joint press conference following their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. AP/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool

On the invitation of the Government of Japan, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, undertook an Official Visit to Japan from 25 to 27 October 2016.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and His Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a productive Summit Meeting in a friendly, forward-looking and constructive atmosphere. With a view to further promoting the "Strategic Partnership” of the Philippines and Japan as two maritime countries bound by shared basic values, the two leaders state the following:

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1. The two leaders recognized the visit of President Duterte as a significant visit, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. The visit is an important milestone in the bilateral relationship which highlights the depth of bilateral relations and further enhances exchanges and cooperation.

2. With the aim of sustaining a peaceful and active relationship between the East Asian and Southeast Asian regions, the two leaders reaffirmed that the two countries fully commit to further strengthening the Strategic Partnership based on such common values as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, respect for basic human rights, and a free and open economy. They also discussed continuous cooperation of the two countries to strengthen the bilateral relationship and to maintain regional peace and stability.

3. The two leaders shared the recognition that the security environment in the region is faced with many challenges, and decided to further collaborate to maintain peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

4. The two leaders affirmed that the two countries share common interests in maintaining and promoting peace, stability and prosperity regionally and globally as maritime nations in Asia.

5. The two leaders emphasized the need to ensure maritime safety and security which are vital elements for the peace, stability and continued prosperity of both countries and of the region.

6. The two leaders affirmed Japan’s significant contributions over the years to the efforts of the Philippines to strengthen its maritime capabilities through human resource development, capacity-building assistance and provision of patrol vessels and other equipment for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), taking into account the long history of cooperation between the Japan Coast Guard and the PCG. On that basis, they shared the intention to further cooperate in various areas of common interest for maritime security and safety.

7. The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Exchange of Notes on Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for the two large-scale patrol vessels to the Philippines as well as the steady progress in the provision of ten patrol vessels, which Japan had already decided to provide. President Duterte expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continuous support in this field.

8. The two leaders also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Implementation and Letter of Arrangement for the transfer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)'s training aircraft TC-90s. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to continue enhancing security and defense cooperation, including training the Philippine Navy pilots and enhancing the capacity of its infrastructure.

9. President Duterte expressed his appreciation for Japan’s intention to provide high-speed boats and other equipment to enhance the Philippines’ anti-terrorism capabilities.

10. The two leaders shared the view that they would further enhance bilateral dialogues and policy consultations at all levels.

11. Maintaining open and stable seas is essential in the region. The two leaders shared the view that the South China Sea holds sea lanes vital for global economic activity and viability. In this regard, the two leaders stressed the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as anti-piracy efforts and cooperation.

12. With regard to the South China Sea Arbitral Award, the two leaders acknowledged the importance of a rules-based approach to the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the UN Charter and other relevant international conventions. The two leaders emphasized the importance of self-restraint and non-militarization. In this regard, they also acknowledged the importance of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the Joint Communiqué of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of 24 July 2016, the Chairman’s Statement of the 19th ASEAN-Japan Summit of 7 September 2016 and the Chairman’s Statement of the 11th East Asia Summit of 8 September 2016.

13. The two leaders look to their network of friendships and alliances, in particular the ever stronger ties between the Philippines and Japan, to help promote the peace, stability and maritime security of the region.

14. Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed Japan’s support for ASEAN centrality and the latter’s vision of ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together. Looking forward to the Philippine Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017, Prime Minister Abe extended assurances of Japan’s continued support for a rules-based, people-oriented and people-centered regional community driving ASEAN connectivity and inclusive growth. President Duterte acknowledged Japan’s contributions to ASEAN community building through the ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership for Prospering Together and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership, among other arrangements.

15. President Duterte extended an invitation for Prime Minister Abe to visit the Philippines at a convenient time. Prime Minister Abe accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Issued in Tokyo, 26 October 2016


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