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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

FVR TO DUTERTE: ALWAYS SAY LESS THAN NECESSARY
[RELATED: Duterte urged - ‘Scrub your foul mouth’]


OCTOBER 25 -Former President Fidel Ramos has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to refrain from trying to impress by saying too much. A report from Mike Enriquez on 24 Oras quoted Ramos as saying a leader appeared less in control whenever he tried to impress with words. "Always say less than necessary. When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control," Ramos said in his opinion column for a national broadsheet. Instead, Ramos said Duterte should win public opinion through actions. He also said Duterte should stop isolating himself. "Win through your actions, never through arguments," Ramos said. "Do not build fortresses to protect yourself—isolation is dangerous." READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte urged: ‘Scrub your foul mouth’...

ALSO Duterte: 'Forget' EDCA; I'm not a US lapdog; he said wants closed-door meeting with Russel
[RELATED: PH not America’s lapdog–Russel; Washington welcomes plans for independent foreign policy]


OCTOBRE 25 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a news conference prior to boarding his flight for a three-day official visit to Japan at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Duterte lashed out anew at the United States following Monday's interview with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel who said that Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about the government's intentions have sparked consternation in the U.S. and other governments and in the corporate world. AP/Bullit Marquez
President Rodrigo Duterte said that the country's Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States (US) may be scrapped during his term. The chief executive made the statement following the comment of US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel that Duterte's rhetoric causes international distress. Duterte stressed that he is not a lapdog of the American government. "You count me out. I'm not one of you. I am not also a tuta of any country, mind you. Ang puwede lang magtuta sa akin ang Pilipino, walang iba," Duterte said in a press briefing before leaving for Japan. READ MORE...RELATED,
PH not America’s lapdog–US top envoy; Washington welcomes plans for independent foreign policy...

ALSO:
US remains Ph trusted ally;
Rody statements creating ‘climate of uncertainty’ -Russel
[RELATED: Duterte to top US diplomat - Stop being malicious]


OCTOBER 25 -Photo shows US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel talking to the press after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. at the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday. EDD GUMBAN
 Manila - The United States remains a “steady and trusted” partner of the Philippines, but is concerned about recent controversial statements made by President Duterte. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel made the comments to reporters in Manila yesterday after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. Russel is the most senior US diplomat for Asia. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, for his part, said the ties between the US and the Philippines “are really unbreakable in many ways.” READ MORE...RELATED,
Duterte to top US diplomat: Stop being malicious...

ALSO
Russel: ‘Strings attached’ in US aid to PH ‘factually wrong’


OCTOBER 25 -Daniel Russel, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. ANTHONY Q. ESGUERRA/INQUIRER.net 
US Department of State assistant secretary Daniel Russel on Monday denied Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay’s claim that the American support for the Philippines came with “strings attached.” Russel arrived in Manila on Sunday to seek clarifications on President Duterte’s speech in China that he was cutting military and economic ties with the US. The President later clarified his statement as moving for a “separation of foreign policy” and not severance of diplomatic ties. Yasay said that Washington’s “carrot and stick” approach in diplomacy prompted Duterte to pursue an “independent foreign policy.” READ MORE...

ALSO: ON DUTERTE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY - 'PNoy Aquino has reasons behind his policies’ —Palace


OCTOBER 29 -Palace officials on Saturday reacted to former President Bengino Aquino III's statement that contradicts President Rodrigo Duterte's "separation" in foreign policy from the US. "Pres Aquino had his reasons behind his policies that were not incongruous during his time," Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message, he did not elaborate. On Friday, Aquino broke his silence and said that it was more sound to maintain strong ties with the US than with another country that has no "common background" and "common values" with the Philippines. "Importante na meron kayong common background, common values, may common orientation. Paano tayo magiging partner kung hindi pareho yung ating pananaw?" Aquino told GMA News. "Sa sistemang umiiral sa bansang Estados Unidos... maraming pinagkapareho so kung tutuusin baka mas madaling katrabaho ang isang bansa na marami tayong kapareho as opposed doon sa maraming hindi parehas," the former President added.
Not preparing for war In a separate text message, Presidential spokesperson Enesto Abella said, "We are at an age where the Philippines has no enemies. We are committed to settling disputes peacefully." READ MORE...

ALSO: Goldberg happy to leave Philippines with integrity intact
[RELATED: No more cussing, Rody promises God]


OCTOBER 26 -President Rodrigo R. Duterte welcomes United States of America Ambassador Philip Goldberg at the Music Room in Malacañan Palace. Presidential Photographers Division/King Rodriguez
MANILA, Philippines – Even without the Order of Sikatuna, America’s top diplomat in the country Philip Goldberg would be happy enough to leave the Philippines with his integrity intact. “Everything I do here is for my country and for our relationship. And so I would rather leave with my integrity,” Goldberg said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart. Outgoing ambassadors traditionally receive the Order of Sikatuna award from the President. However, President Duterte has on numerous occasions expressed his dislike for and badmouthed Goldberg after the top US diplomat criticized the conduct of his war on drugs. READ MORE...RELATED,
No more cussing, Rody promises God...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Ramos to Duterte: Always say less than necessary

MANILA, OCTOBER 31, 2016 (GMA NEWS)  Published October 24, 2016 9:25pm - Former President Fidel Ramos has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to refrain from trying to impress by saying too much.

A report from Mike Enriquez on 24 Oras quoted Ramos as saying a leader appeared less in control whenever he tried to impress with words.

"Always say less than necessary. When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control," Ramos said in his opinion column for a national broadsheet.

Instead, Ramos said Duterte should win public opinion through actions. He also said Duterte should stop isolating himself.

"Win through your actions, never through arguments," Ramos said. "Do not build fortresses to protect yourself—isolation is dangerous."

READ MORE...

Ramos also reminded Duterte to preserve his reputation and stop rushing himself.

"So much depends on reputation—guard it with your life. Reputation is the cornerstone of power... Never seem to be in a hurry - hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time," he said.

Ramos said the column he also gave the same unsolicited advice to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In the end, the former president said it was still up to Duterte to "take it or leave it."

This is the third commentary piece that Ramos wrote to assess the Duterte administration.

In his first column on October 9, Ramos said the Philippines was “losing badly” during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration, blaming the government for failing on leadership and teamwork.

A week later, Ramos compared the Philippines under "skipper" Duterte to a leaky and slow-moving ship due to internal strife and disunity. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/NB, GMA News

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER FLASHBACK AUGUST 2016 HEADLINE NEWS

Duterte urged: ‘Scrub your foul mouth’ By: Aries Joseph Hegina / @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 12:27 PM August 11, 2016 Rodrigo Duterte -- Inquirer


President Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

A political analyst asked President Rodrigo Duterte to be careful in issuing his statements after he described US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg as “bakla” or “gay” and called him a “s** of a b****” in a recent speech.

In an interview with Radyo Inquirer, Prof. Clarita Carlos said that Duterte should be mindful about his statements pertaining to Goldberg since the United States is a longtime ally of the Philippines.

“Medyo i-hold up niya siguro yung mga salitang ganiyan dahil nakakasakit siya ng damdamin ng tao. Alam naman natin mayroon tayong napakalalim na relationship with the United States. Medyo patawarin niyo na lang po yung President namin,” Carlos said on Wednesday.

(I think he should hold up those kinds of words because he hurts other people’s feelings. We know that we have deep relations with the United States. I hope you could forgive our President.)

“Sana nga, sabun-sabunan niya yung bibig niya dahil medyo naliligaw na naman (I hope he scrubs his foul mouth because he is going nowhere again),” she added.

Duterte, in a recent meeting with soldiers in Davao City, slammed Goldberg for supposedly meddling in the political affairs of the country.

He also belittled the $32-million fund donation announced by the US ambassador.

“I am pissed with him” (referring to Goldberg). He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that,” Duterte said.

READ: US summons PH envoy over Duterte’s ‘bakla’ tag on Goldberg

The US ambassador earlier earned the ire of Duterte after he called out the then presidential candidate last April on his remarks about the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill.

But in a speech in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday, Duterte refused to apologize for his remarks against Goldberg, saying that “they were true anyway.”

READ: Duterte: No apologies for remarks on Goldberg

He also allayed fears that his tirade against the ambassador would affect the relations between Philippines and US.

“I reiterate our strong alliance with America,” he said. RAM/rga


PHILSTAR

Duterte: 'Forget' EDCA; I'm not a US lapdog By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 25, 2016 - 4:39pm 3 194 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a news conference prior to boarding his flight for a three-day official visit to Japan at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Duterte lashed out anew at the United States following Monday's interview with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel who said that Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about the government's intentions have sparked consternation in the U.S. and other governments and in the corporate world. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said that the country's Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States (US) may be scrapped during his term.

The chief executive made the statement following the comment of US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel that Duterte's rhetoric causes international distress.

Duterte stressed that he is not a lapdog of the American government.

"You count me out. I'm not one of you. I am not also a tuta of any country, mind you. Ang puwede lang magtuta sa akin ang Pilipino, walang iba," Duterte said in a press briefing before leaving for Japan.

READ MORE...

READ: US: Duterte's rhetoric causes confusion, consternation

"Yes, you have the EDCA. Well, forget it. If I stay here long enough... One day, that EDCA will... If it is an executive agreement then I will... I do not want to see any military man of any other nation except the Filipino soldier," Duterte said.

'You can leave'

Duterte also challenged foreign business investors to leave the country after expressing concerns over the spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects.

Russel said that the succession of controversial statements from Duterte have created "consternation" in a number of countries.

"Magsilayas kayo, magti-tiis kami. We will recover, I assure you. We will live and survive," the president said.

"Every time they said we will cut our assistance sabi ko sa kanila p**** i** ninyo. 'Wag mo kami gawing aso... As if I am a dog with a leash, tapos magtapon ka ng pan doon sa malayo, hindi ko maabot," Duterte said.

The president also commented on the statement of the US that it remains committed to the Philippines' defense.

Duterte said that the Philippines does not need military assistance from the US as it does not have plans to go to war.

"They want to talk about the bogeyman of war. Stop that s***. Nobody is interested in wars anymore," the president said.

Asked if he has plans of officially rescinding the EDCA, Duterte said that he wants to have a closed door meeting with Russel.

"Mag-usap kami 'yung dalawa lang kami sa isang kwarto. I don't want anybody else," Duterte said.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

PH not America’s lapdog–US top envoy; Washington welcomes plans for independent foreign policy By: Anthony Q. Esguerra / @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 08:57 PM October 25, 2016


US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Russel

Rejecting notions the Philippines is an American lapdog or a pawn, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Russel on Monday said Washington was open to an independent foreign policy for the country.

Asked about his thoughts on the matter, Russel maintained that Manila was independent from Washington.

“We have a lot of experience in a full-fledged independent Philippine foreign policy. This notion that the Philippines is somehow a pawn of the United States, it may make a good story but it is not supported the facts,” Russel told Filipino journalists in a roundtable discussion.

He added: “The fact is that the United States is stronger when other democracies, our partners, are themselves strong.”

President Duterte is pushing for an independent foreign policy as he toughens his stance on the US.

READ: Duterte: I’m no puppet of any country

Saying America had failed the Philippines, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay had criticized the US’ “carrot and stick” approach in diplomacy by dangling assistance in exchange for policies or deals favorable to Washington.

Russel denied this, saying America’s support had “no strings attached” to them.

“If the United States was pulling strings on a puppet, trust me, the Philippines would make a lot different policy calls. We respect and admire the independence, the autonomy and the democracy of the Philippines,” Russel said.

“You get to make your own decisions. We wanna talk to you about them. Sometimes we wanna persuade you, but we never want to dictate you,” he added.

Russel pointed out that America was proud of the partnership it had made with the Philippines from the Bush to Obama administrations.

“It is a strong partnership based on mutual consent, based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. We have everything to gain and nothing to fear,” he said.

President Duterte had said he was not an American lapdog nor was he beholden to anybody.

READ: Duterte: I’m no US lapdog; I want PH free of foreign troops

He repeated the remark before leaving for Japan on Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“You know before we can move forward, Mr. America, there are things—so many things—the massacre of the Filipinos before. These are historical hurts that would never go away. It all depends if you get a Philippine President to be your dog. You count me out. I’m not one of them,” said Mr. Duterte.

“I am not also a ‘tuta’ (dog) of any country. Mind you, the only ones who can treat me like a dog are Filipinos. Period. Nobody else,” he added.

RELATED:

Duterte: ‘I love PH more’


PHILSTAR

‘US remains trusted ally’ By Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 25, 2016 - 12:00am 1 85 googleplus0 0


Photo shows US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel talking to the press after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. at the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday. EDD GUMBAN

Rody statements creating ‘climate of uncertainty’

 MANILA, Philippines - The United States remains a “steady and trusted” partner of the Philippines, but is concerned about recent controversial statements made by President Duterte.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel made the comments to reporters in Manila yesterday after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.

Russel is the most senior US diplomat for Asia.

Ambassador Philip Goldberg, for his part, said the ties between the US and the Philippines “are really unbreakable in many ways.”

READ MORE...

Russel also said that while the US supports Manila’s “effort against the scourge of drugs,” Washington was concerned over the loss of lives, which is “not a positive trend” and is “bad for business as well.”

Goldberg attended yesterday the commissioning of the newly delivered C-130 cargo plane at the Philippine Air Force headquarters at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. The Philippines acquired the aircraft from the US through the latter’s Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.

“There are 3.5 million Filipino-Americans and there are a couple of hundred thousand Americans who live in the Philippines,” Goldberg said, explaining his country’s “unbreakable” bond with the Philippines.

He said that while certain developments appear to have undermined US-Philippine relations, there are factors that have kept such relationship from deteriorating.

He did not cite negative developments but he was apparently referring to Duterte’s repeated rants against the US and his declaration of military and economic “separation” from the Philippines’ long-time ally.

Duterte issued the controversial statement on at least two occasions during his state visit to Beijing last week. He had also bared intention to pivot to China and Russia. He would later clarify he was not cutting diplomatic ties with the US.

The US ambassador said Russel and US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Kelly Magsamen are in the country to seek clarification on the President’s statements.

“We’re seeking exact clarification. We have two US officials seeking clarification,” Goldberg said.

He stressed the US remains committed to its relations with the Philippines despite the confusion arising from the President’s pronouncements.

“We are trying to sort out exactly what that means in policy terms. What that means in terms of ongoing relationship. This is a sovereign country, and the US has treated the Philippines as co-equal,” Goldberg said.

Being a sovereign state, he said the Philippines should make its own decisions on what it believes is in the best interest of the country.

He stressed there’s nothing wrong with the Philippines’ taking steps to improve relations with other countries in the region.

New C-130 US Ambassador Philip Goldberg pours champagne on a C-130T cargo plane during the formal turnover of the aircraft to the Philippine Air Force at Villamor Air Base yesterday. The plane is the second to be acquired through the US Excess Defense Articles program. AP Also at Villamor Air Base, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana thanked the US government for the delivery of the C-130 aircraft.

“We thank Ambassador Philip Goldberg for his continued generous help that enabled the Philippine government to acquire this aircraft for the Philippine Air Force,” he said.

Lorenzana also cited US Col. Ernest Lee, chief of JUSMAG-Philippines, for facilitating the transfer of the C-130 to the PAF’s inventory.

Japanese ships visit Meanwhile, three warships of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces (JMSDF) docked yesterday at Manila’s South Harbor for a five-day goodwill visit.

“This is another gesture of fostering goodwill which contributes to the furtherance of friendship between the PN and JMSDF established through the years with continuing commitment to promoting naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” Navy spokesman Capt. Lued Lincuna said.

The warships were JS Kashima, JS Setoyukie and JS Asigiri manned by 190 sailors and officers.

Duterte’s declaration of “separation” from the US may have sparked worries, but for the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), “it is a historic and significant pronouncement.”

“If indeed the President is serious, he will formally transmit a letter to the US embassy notifying it of the termination of the VFA and EDCA,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said, referring to the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

“The Philippines should also demand indemnification from the US for the sufferings and wastes caused by its former military bases. Unequal economic pacts should also be ended and no negotiations for new free trade agreements should be pursued,” Reyes added.

The group, however, pointed out that revitalized relations with China or Russia must be based on national interest and must be free from lopsided provisions and unjust impositions.

“China must not require us to surrender our sovereignty and valid claims in the disputed areas. It must not impose its nine-dash line claim as a starting point in bilateral talks,” Bayan said.

While the Philippines has the right to assert independence from the US, Bayan stressed “we cannot simply jump from one imperialist lap to another. We are aware of the geopolitical interests of China and Russia vis-a-vis the US.”

He added “the goal of asserting sovereignty should be charting our own path for national development, achieving self-reliance and lessening dependence on external factors.”

“Any new relations must support genuine industrialization and not perpetuate our history of economic dependence. Foreign policy must serve domestic policy. It must serve the needs of the Filipino people,” Reyes said.

The same view was raised by the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (Pamalakaya), which also challenged Duterte to “transform his anti-US pronouncements into concrete action.”
The group said this could be done by abrogating “existing unequal military treaties” like the VFA and EDCA.


In a statement, Pamalakaya lauded the President’s “consistencies in lambasting the US intervention in the country’s political and economic aspects.”

“We welcome President Duterte’s coherent pronouncements against the US. This will be a road towards pursuing a patriotic foreign policy that will develop domestic industries,” said Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap.


“We are not completely free from the US when military treaties like VFA and EDCA are still operational” and that there would be “no assurance that American forces will totally leave our country unless VFA and EDCA are revoked.”

He said Duterte has the backing of the Filipino people in his anti-US moves to “break our country from centuries-old colonial control.”

“We urge President Duterte to prepare the VFA and EDCA’s termination papers and sign it immediately. It can all be done even within 24 hours,” Hicap stressed. – Ding Cervantes, Rhodina Villanueva

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Duterte to top US diplomat: Stop being malicious By: Nestor Corrales / @NCorralesINQ
INQUIRER.net / 06:47 PM October 25, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte reiterates his stand on the country’s shift to adopt an independent foreign policy during his departure speech at NAIA Terminal 2 in Pasay City. The President is scheduled to attend a three-day state visit to Japan on October. 25. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

Stop being malicious.

President Rodrigo Duterte has that to say to US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel following his comments that the rapprochement between the Philippines and China should not come at the expense of America.

During his speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2 on Tuesday before leaving for an official visit to Japan, Duterte showed a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer with the banner “Duterte sparking int’l distress-US.”

READ: US: Duterte sparking distress around the world

“Now, what did I tell to China? I went there just being nice. O tingnan mo ang lumabas (Look at what has been published), ‘Duterte sparks International Distress.’ T*** i**. Kaliit-liit kong tao ba’t ka ba mag-stress, nerbiyoso kayo. Kasi guilty (S** of a b****. I’m just a small man, why are you stressed and nervous? Because you’re guilty),” he said.

“Tapos isang comment niya (Then he commented), ‘RP-China rapprochement should not come at the expense of the US.’ Napakabilis ng malisya ng mga g*** (These fools are malicious),” he added.

After his verbal attacks, Duterte turned to a lighter mood and cracked a joke, saying he only talked to China on how to make “siopao” and “chopsuey.”

“Wala kaming pinag-usapan sa China kung hindi paano magluto ng siopao nang maganda pati chopsuey. Eh kung may ibigay ang China eh di pasalamat, eh [pag] wala, eh ‘di huwag (During my visit to China, we only talked about how to cook siopao and chopsuey. If they will give us something, we would be thankful. If not, then never mind),” he said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.

Since he assumed office last June 30, Duterte has displayed antagonism toward US, threatening to cut military and economic ties with the country’s longtime ally.

The US has been critical of Duterte’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, saying those killed in his war on drugs may be victims of extrajudicial killings. RAM/rga


INQUIRER

Russel: ‘Strings attached’ in US aid to PH ‘factually wrong’ By: Anthony Q. Esguerra / @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 06:53 PM October 24, 2016


Daniel Russel, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. ANTHONY Q. ESGUERRA/INQUIRER.net

US Department of State assistant secretary Daniel Russel on Monday denied Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay’s claim that the American support for the Philippines came with “strings attached.”

Russel arrived in Manila on Sunday to seek clarifications on President Duterte’s speech in China that he was cutting military and economic ties with the US.

The President later clarified his statement as moving for a “separation of foreign policy” and not severance of diplomatic ties.

Yasay said that Washington’s “carrot and stick” approach in diplomacy prompted Duterte to pursue an “independent foreign policy.”

READ MORE...

“To suggest that there are strings attached that connect to American economic interest or a policy position on an unrelated matter is factually wrong. That’s not how we roll,” Russel told Filipino journalists in a roundtable discussion.

But the American diplomat said that there was a different kind of “string” attached to US aid for the Philippines.

“I’ll tell you there is a string attached when we transfer a system or ship to the Philippines. That string is training. We are as much about the software as we are about the hardware,” Russel said.

“You know the annual exercises the US and the Philippines conduct, many of them involving other friends of the Philippines in East Asia served the purpose of sharing American know-how and expertise to make your soldiers better at their job, to help them respond at crisis and disasters whether it’s a typhoon or shipwreck or earthquake,” he added.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

DUTERTE INDEPENTENT FOREIGN POLICY ‘Aquino has reasons behind his policies’ —Palace Published October 29, 2016 2:38pm By JOHN TED CORDERO, GMA News

Palace officials on Saturday reacted to former President Bengino Aquino III's statement that contradicts President Rodrigo Duterte's "separation" in foreign policy from the US.

"Pres Aquino had his reasons behind his policies that were not incongruous during his time," Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message, he did not elaborate.

On Friday, Aquino broke his silence and said that it was more sound to maintain strong ties with the US than with another country that has no "common background" and "common values" with the Philippines.

"Importante na meron kayong common background, common values, may common orientation. Paano tayo magiging partner kung hindi pareho yung ating pananaw?" Aquino told GMA News.

"Sa sistemang umiiral sa bansang Estados Unidos... maraming pinagkapareho so kung tutuusin baka mas madaling katrabaho ang isang bansa na marami tayong kapareho as opposed doon sa maraming hindi parehas," the former President added.

Not preparing for war

In a separate text message, Presidential spokesperson Enesto Abella said, "We are at an age where the Philippines has no enemies. We are committed to settling disputes peacefully."

READ MORE...

It was during the administration of Aquino when the tension between the Philippines and China began.

The Chinese made aggressive actions in the disputed West Philippine Sea/South China Sea including blocking and shooing away Filipino fishermen as it claimed that areas within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone were part of its nine-dash line.

"Separating from military dependence on the US signals that we do not intend to engage in war with any country or with China," Abella said.

He added that joint patrols or joint military exercises with America are to be gradually phased out "because we are no longer preparing for war but not taken to mean that relationship with the US is terminated."

"While we course an independent foreign policy, we purpose to both retain while re-balancing long-standing ties to the benefit of both nations," Abella said. —ALG, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Goldberg happy to leave Philippines with integrity intact By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 26, 2016 - 12:00am 4 20 googleplus1 2


President Rodrigo R. Duterte welcomes United States of America Ambassador Philip Goldberg at the Music Room in Malacañan Palace. Presidential Photographers Division/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines – Even without the Order of Sikatuna, America’s top diplomat in the country Philip Goldberg would be happy enough to leave the Philippines with his integrity intact.

“Everything I do here is for my country and for our relationship. And so I would rather leave with my integrity,” Goldberg said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.

Outgoing ambassadors traditionally receive the Order of Sikatuna award from the President.

However, President Duterte has on numerous occasions expressed his dislike for and badmouthed Goldberg after the top US diplomat criticized the conduct of his war on drugs.

READ MORE...

Duterte’s dislike for Goldberg dates back to the campaign when the diplomat called him out for making a joke about the rape and murder of an Australian missionary during a 1989 Davao City prison riot.

“I would rather leave with the friendship of so many Filipinos and with all of the legacy that we have created, all of the good things that we have done together than have a piece of paper,” he said.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“We’ve gotten a lot done,” he added.

Goldberg arrived in the country right after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and was active in relief efforts launched by the international community.

During his term, the Philippines and the US signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

“A lot of what has been going on over the last three months has been somewhat at odds, inconsistent with all of the great things that we have done and the partnership we have together,” Goldberg said. “I hope that our legacy and partnership will remain, and the friendship.”

Goldberg also said he does not regret speaking out against Duterte’s making a joke about the prison riot. “I’m a representative of my country,” he said.

“I said I’m not going to discuss your candidates or your campaign but anytime, anywhere something like that is said we don’t condone it. It was a very mild statement. It was said also in support of my Australian colleague,” he said, referring to Australian ambassador Amanda Gorely who also criticized the joke.

“I’m here representing the values of the United States which is part of our foreign policy. So when I said that it was not in any way intended… I never mentioned anyone’s name,” Goldberg said.

“It was clear who had said something and that is now part of the record but that’s my responsibility and I don’t regret having carried out my responsibility. I’m sorry that it needed to be carried out,” he stressed.

China trip

In the same ANC interview, Goldberg also revealed Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade made an “unpublicized” trip to China last June to start a “process” that led to the billion dollars worth of investment and financing agreements for the Philippines.

Goldberg said he was not surprised the trip resulted in investment and financing agreements that amounted to up to $24 billion.

He said Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and others in the Chinese business community were visiting then president-elect Rodrigo Duterte very often in June.

“I also know and I don’t think this has been revealed publicly, but I know that Sen. Cayetano, President Duterte’s runningmate, made an unpublicized trip to China in June along with Secretary Tugade and so all of these was actually in train I think,” Goldberg said.

“There were already discussions going on so it predates a lot of the sort of discussion about us and our involvement and where we stood in all of this,” he said.

Cayetano and Tugade were with Duterte in his state visit to China earlier this month.

“I don’t think Sen. Cayetano’s role was fully known publicly but he was actually starting this process way back in June,” Goldberg added.

When asked if was it fair to say that the government was pursuing backdoor negotiations, Goldberg said, “I guess that’s what you’d say.”

“I don’t really know because it was never explained publicly, but it’s something that now is well known if not having been made public,” he added. “But what I’m saying is that this was clearly in train before all of the recent statements and upset and all of that. So it wasn’t exactly for me surprising.”

Reaching out The ambassador said he had tried to reach out to the President through Cabinet officials, to get the US message across that the Philippines and the US are friends and allies.

“But the members of the Cabinet, while they try to convey these messages and are still very much in dialogue with us, don’t seem to have a full grasp either of what’s happening,” he said.

The state of Philippine-US relations, he said, is uncertain because of the pronouncements and the statements from the President, he pointed out.

“We have an enormous stake in each other’s countries and our relationship, so I go with that knowledge and with the hope that we will be able to continue that relationship but very much aware of the uncertainty that has been created and the bad feeling in a way that has been created by some of the statements,” Goldberg said.

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

RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

No more cussing, Rody promises God Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 29 October 2016 00:00



Only God can make him stop cussing, according to President Duterte, as he said he promised God he would stop cussing after he heard God telling him this while on board a plane before arriving in Davao City, after his Japan trip.

Upon arriving in Davao City after his three-day official visit to Japan, Duterte shared a moment of epiphany during his flight.
“I was looking at the skies as I was coming over here. And I... everybody was asleep, snoring. A voice said that you know ‘if you don’t stop cursing, I will bring this plane down now.’

“And I said, who is this? Of course, it’s God. Oh, OK. So, I promised God not to express slang, cuss words,” he said.

“You guys hear me right always because a promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people,” he added.

The people present at the event applauded.

To which, Duterte said, “Don’t applaud me too much, I may just fall back on my promise to God.”

But when asked whether he would no longer cuss at frequent targets such as the United States, the European Union, or Sen.Leila de Lima, Duterte replied: “There is always a time (for this).”

“Actually, if you really know me...ask my childhood friends. We have been friend for a long time. Like Superman, I can read your mind,” he said.

ALWAYS TIME TO BE FOUL-MOUTHED

“There is always a time. A time to be foul-mouthed. I don’t like anybody reading my mind. It’s all calibrated, it’s always timing. Watch out for one thing, that’s what I’ve learned, miscalculation,” he added.

It is not known whether the President was just joking or serious. One never knows, or even divine his thoughts, and even his off script speeches.

But the President did keep his promise to God.

Throughout the press conference, never once did he curse—at least for that day.

Rody’s pledge not to curse is ‘answered prayer’ Cayetano



Sen. Alan Cayetano on Friday called the President’s promise not to curse anymore an answered prayer.

“For me, it’s an answered prayer because I had a chance to pray with him and for him in Japan because he had work with me and I asked him, can we pray? And we prayed about a couple of things,” Cayetano told reporters during a media briefing in Malacañang.

As chairman of the Senate committee on foreign relations, Cayetano joined Duterte in his foreign trips to Laos, Indonesia, Brunei, China and Japan.

On their flight back to the Philippines following his three-day official visit to Japan, the President said he heard a voice from above, telling him, “You know if you don’t stop cuesing, I will bring this plane down now.”

President Duterte said he made a promise to God that he would no longer curse “because a promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people”.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways. I don’t know if it had anything to do with it but going home, he was really tired,” Cayetano said.

The senator noted that although President Duterte blurts out expletives every time he responds to accusations against him, he is actually “a deep spiritual "person.

“He’s not religious but he believes in God. He doesn’t do the rituals or traditions of traditional religions but he talks to our Lord and he prays,” Cayetano said.

He said uttering cuss words is part of President Duterte’s strategy to get the attention of people, even the international community and leaders, as he faces the gargantuan war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

“Some people confuse the President’s tactics or strategy with the present President’s foreign policy. President Duterte is fighting so hard and that is why he gets easily angry when there are moves to stop him or stop us in our drug war or to stop us from achieving our goals,” Cayetano explained.

Cayetano, who celebrated his birthday on Friday, was President Duterte’s vice presidential running mate during the national elections last May 9.

US consistent on view vs Rody’s rants

Washington on Friday maintained its consistent demeanor in levering the seven decade-old US-Philippine ties to respond on President Duterte’s continued opposition on US-RP joint patrols within the contested South China Sea.

The statement by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest came after Duterte on Thursday announced that Japan is welcome to send ships for possible joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea.

Duterte in Japan said he’s open to that proposal, “yes, within our territorial waters but not the sea itself but if they want, we’ll have no problem.”

“I do not think that they would stop us… I mean that China would stop us, Japan just going there and making a cruise,” he has added. “As a matter of fact, I also told them that they can go near my territorial waters and park there if they want.”

In an RTVM feed, Duterte was unable to elaborate if he was referring to joint patrols by coast guard vessels or Japanese naval ships.

Recalling his past statements, President Duterte said he would no longer allow joint Philippine-US patrols in the South China followed by plans to push US forces out of the Philippines within two years.

According to Earnest, their response to these remarks will remain anchored and in balance with their alliance with the Filipino people.

“I can confirm that we still have not received any sort of formal communication from the government of the Philippines seeking to alter the nature of our relationship or our alliance,” the press secretary said.

“Other than that, we’ll leave it there, knowing that the United States continues to be committed to our alliance with the Philippines that’s been on the books for seven decades,” he added in reference to President Duterte’s rhetoric.

China touts peace over S. China Sea

Some countries should “discard their unrealistic stance” over the South China Sea issue, as China and the Philippines are making joint efforts to promote the positive development of the situation, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Spokesman Lu Kang made the remarks at a regular news conference, while commenting on a report from Japanese media that quoted a Japanese government official as saying that during Philippine President Duterte’s state visit, Tokyo and Manila have reached consensus on Wednesday over “respecting the arbitral ruling” of the South China Sea.

The arbitration case, unilaterally launched by former Philippine president Benigno Aquino in 2013, had deteriorated the China-Philippine relationship until last week when Duterte began a state visit to China to restore bilateral ties and enhance cooperation.

Lu said that during Duterte’s visit, China and the Philippines agreed to set aside disputes and enhance bilateral negotiations over the South China Sea.

“We have noticed that President Duterte’s recent remarks are in accordance with the spirit of the consensus (made during Duterte’s visit to Beijing),” he said.

“If you want to understand the stance of the Philippine government, it would be worth listening to what the Philippine leader said,” Lu added.

On Thursday, the final day of his three-day visit to Japan, Duterte said his country could conduct joint naval exercises with Japan, but repeated there would be no more war games with longtime ally the United States, and again vented his anger toward Washington.

Duterte said on Wednesday that disputes over the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully.

Chen Qinghong, a researcher of Southeast Asian and Philippine studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Japan, a country which does not have territorial clams in the South China Sea, has been trying to stir up trouble in the region, at a time when parties involved in the issue have been working to maintain regional stability.

“Through intensifying disputes in the region, Japan is attempting to sow discord between China and Southeast Asian countries, in an attempt to expand its influence in Southeast Asia and try to contain China,” Chen said.

Cayetano asks DFA to protest US envoy’s actions

Senator Cayetano on Friday said he asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to “complain and protest the actions” of United States ambassador Philip Goldberg.

”I’m writing a letter to (DFA) Secretary (Perfecto) Yasay, I informed him yesterday to complain and to protest the actions of Ambassador Goldberg,” Cayetano said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

Few days after President Duterte arrived last Friday from his state visit to China, Goldberg said Cayetano along with Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade made ‘unpublicized’ trips to China last June.

Tugade denied Goldberg’s claim but Cayetano admitted that he traveled to China on his own initiative.

“There is nothing fishy or suspicious about all these trips. I’m not in the executive branch to get a permit from the government. I will report to the Senate at the right time,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano asked Goldberg if the US embassy is spying on the government officials.

“Is this an admission now they are spying on us, on a Cabinet member and a member of the Senate? Was there anything wrong, malicious of me going to anywhere, to China?,” the senator asked.

In defense of Tugade, Cayetano said the US ambassador has no right to say whether a Cabinet official is doing publicized or unpublicized foreign trips.

“Is the US ambassador engaged in humor mongering or in false information because Secretary Tugade did not know. He had a lot of invitations. A DoTr secretary is invited by many countries including China and Japan,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano said Goldberg made a mistake during the last election campaigns when the US envoy met all the presidential candidates except for Duterte.

“He met all the candidates and reported to the US but was not able to meet Mayor Duterte because he kept on changing his schedules and making hard for the meeting. So that was his mistake,” Cayetano said.
Joyce Ann Rocamora, China Daily and PNA


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