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JAPAN WARY OVER DUTERTE'S POLICY, MANNERS
[RELATED: EVEN IN TOKYO, DUTERTE CAN'T CONTAIN ANGER AT US.].


OCTOBER 25 -In this Oct. 13, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. This week's visit to China by Duterte points toward a restoration of trust between the sides following recent tensions over their South China Sea territorial dispute, China's official news agency said Tuesday, Oct. 18. AP/Bullit Marquez, File
TOKYO — Japanese officials are wary ahead of the arrival of outspoken President Rodrigo Duterte. Their concern is not only about his foreign policy toward the US, but also about his informal style. They are paranoid about him chewing gum in front of the emperor. Duterte arrives in Tokyo later Tuesday for a three-day visit, his first as Philippine leader and as his recent remarks on foreign policy and freewheeling style have captured international attention. For diplomats and political leaders, the main issue is Duterte's foreign policy toward Washington and how Japan can help mend those ties. READ MORE...RELATED, Even in Tokyo, Duterte can’t contain anger at US...

ALSO: Noy’s pro-US policy obsolete — Andanar


OCTOBER 30 -Former President Aquino’s views on foreign relations was outdated and only fits his time and not the incumbent Duterte administration’s policies, a Palace official said yesterday. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said while the Duterte administration respects Aquino’s unsolicited advice, he should be reminded that Duterte’s dealings with other countries are more inclusive rather than Aquino’s kowtowing to the United States.
Aquino, last Friday, criticized Duterte’s “policy alliance” separation with the US saying that the incumbent administration’s new foreign partners do not share his policy direction. “It is important that we share common background, common values and common orientation. How can we be partners with those who have different views with us?” the former President was quoted as saying in Filipino in a report by GMA News Online. READ MORE...

ALSO: UN panel lauds Ph- report of UN panel on Eco, Social & Cultural rights


OCTOBER 30 -Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations, Cecilia Rebong Photo credits: gov.ph

ALTHOUGH the special rapporteurs of outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lament the state of human rights in the country, the 18-man United Nations’ Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights welcomed the country’s gains in advancing the human rights. That is one of the concluding observations of the UNCESCR that conducted the combined 5th and 6th periodic country report on the human rights situation in the country, according to Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, the Philippines’ permanent representative to the UN. “This recognition of the UN Committee of the achievements of the Philippines does not only highlight the unwavering commitment of the country to human rights,” Rebong said. “More importantly is that fact that the Filipino people is assured of its government’s political will for the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights as well as avenues to access effective remedies when these rights are violated,” she added. READ MORE...

ALSO: FVR blasts Duterte anew, this time on climate pact
[RELATED: Ramos: Du30 must prove navigation skills, mental stability]


OCTOBER 30 -MANILA - Filipinos will be more prone to the devastating effects of typhoons if President Rodrigo Duterte continues to refuse ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, former president Fidel V. Ramos insisted. In his Manila Bulletin column entitled, "Climate change: Attention P Digong, Cabinet and Congress," Ramos on Saturday hurled strong criticism against Duterte, who earlier threatened that he will not honor the international pact to lower climate-warming emissions. "In his consistently frequent insulting diatribes against the US (United States), EU (European Union), and the UN (United Nations), in which President Du30 also keeps complaining against the December, 2015, Paris Agreement on Climate Change (crafted by 195 nations, the Philippines included), he is unwittingly shooting himself in the mouth, and also all of us, 101.5 million Filipinos," went the opinion column's opening salvo. READ MORE...RELATED, Ramos: Du30 must prove navigation skills, mental stability...

ALSO: Philippines Duterte: God told me to stop swearing
 [ALSO Rody urges Japan - Invest more in Philippines]


OCTOBER 28 -© Provided by BBC News Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe toast their countries' relations during a banquet in Tokyo on 26 October 2016. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has promised God he will clean up his famously vulgar language. Arriving in his home city of Davao after a trip to Japan, Mr Duterte said God gave him an ultimatum on the plane. "I heard a voice telling me to stop swearing or the plane will crash in mid-air, and so I promised to stop," he told reporters at the airport. Mr Duterte's blunt speaking, often directed at the West, has contributed to his popularity at home. READ MORE...ALSO,  Rody urges Japan - Invest more in Philippines...

ALSO: Japan’s Abe acts as bridge between Manila, Washington


OCTOBER 30 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, is shown the way by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after a joint press conference following their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool) TOKYO—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to maintain cooperation with the United States at their meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, highlighting the importance of the role the Japan-U.S. alliance plays in the Asia-Pacific region. Abe is concerned the regional security structure might be affected if the Philippine president strengthens his stance of leaning toward China. Duterte said the Philippines was on Tokyo’s side over the South China Sea issue, but it still remains to be seen if this will lead to a change in his anti-U.S. political stance. At their talks, Abe and Duterte exchanged views on the significance of both the Japan-U.S. and U.S.-Philippine alliances for regional security. The prime minister appears to have urged Duterte to place importance on relations with the U.S. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Japan wary over Duterte's policy, manners


In this Oct. 13, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. This week's visit to China by Duterte points toward a restoration of trust between the sides following recent tensions over their South China Sea territorial dispute, China's official news agency said Tuesday, Oct. 18. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

TOKYO, OCTOBER 31, 2016 (INQUIRER) By Mari Yamaguchi (Associated Press) | October 25, 2016 - Japanese officials are wary ahead of the arrival of outspoken President Rodrigo Duterte. Their concern is not only about his foreign policy toward the US, but also about his informal style. They are paranoid about him chewing gum in front of the emperor.

Duterte arrives in Tokyo later Tuesday for a three-day visit, his first as Philippine leader and as his recent remarks on foreign policy and freewheeling style have captured international attention.

For diplomats and political leaders, the main issue is Duterte's foreign policy toward Washington and how Japan can help mend those ties.

READ MORE...

Tokyo is a major ally of the United States, and has watched as Duterte increasingly voiced attacks on the US and said he would scale back America's military engagement with his country. And has he worried Japan and the United States by reaching out strongly to China.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida acknowledged Duterte's remarks have triggered concerns, and told reporters he planned to ask what his real intentions were when the two have dinner later Tuesday. He said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will do the same on Wednesday.

"I think it would be important that we fully communicate through these occasions and directly hear opinions from President Duterte himself," Kishida said.

But in a country where formality and politeness are highly valued, others are worried about the rough side of Duterte's manners. They are particularly concerned about his meeting with Emperor Akihito on Friday.

Japanese TV shows have repeatedly showed Duterte apparently chewing gum — at meetings, shaking hands and at other public occasions. In footage of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duterte wore a business suit instead of a formal Philippine "Barong" shirt. He walked in with his hands in his pockets and chewed gum during the hand shake and a signing ceremony.

Duterte doesn't usually button up the top of his shirt, often wears slacks or jeans and has been seen without socks.

"When (Duterte) will make a courtesy visit to the Emperor, his behavior during the event could have a major impact. I trust he understands the consequences and he would not do such a thing (as chewing gum), but I do hope the Philippine side to remind him of that particular point," Itsunori Onodera, a senior lawmaker in the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told a Sunday talk show on Fuji TV.

In Japan, where the Emperor was considered a living god until the end of World War II, people are expected to be extra polite in front of him and his family.

"It's unbelievable. I have never seen anything like that!" said Kunihiko Miyake, a former diplomat and political analyst. "How could he dare to behave in ways that could cause his host to lose face." Miyake, however, said Duterte might have done so intentionally perhaps because he was unhappy about compromising on the South China Sea issue.

While serving as a mediator between the two allies, Japan's main contribution to Manila is likely to be two large Coast Guard patrol boats — in addition to an earlier pledge of 10 smaller ones — and TC-90 military training aircraft to help boost the Philippine's maritime security in the South China Sea.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga reiterated Japan's policy to further develop its strategic partnership with Manila, with an aim for a peaceful settlement of the dispute over the South China Sea, which is claimed in whole or part by China, the Philippines and other countries around the sea.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Even in Tokyo, Duterte can’t contain anger at US By: Leila B. Salaverria / @LeilasINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 08:10 PM October 25, 2016

TOKYO – President Duterte was all praises for Japan for all the assistance it provides the Philippines, but could not contain his anger and once more lashed out at the United States and the European Union for criticism of his anti-drug war.

In a profanity-laced speech before 1,200 members of the Filipino community in Japan, Mr. Duterte called the US a bully and said he was not fazed even if critics would file cases against him.

Mr. Duterte is immune from suit as President, but could be charged once he’s out of office.

The President said their threats to cut aid to the Philippines was a “demeaning” statement, making it appear as if he were a dog being taunted with a threat.

“You have the evidence, go ahead and file the case. I have no problem with it. I can rot in prison for my country. I am not a Filipino for nothing,” he said.

Even if the Philippines is poor, it must be respected, he said.

READ MORE...

“Do not fuck with our dignity,” he said.

He could accept such treatment and criticism as mayor, but not as President when he already carries the burden of sovereignty, he said.

On comments that he’s acting like a hoodlum, not a statesman, he said this was right.

“You’re a fool. You only found out now?” he added.

In contrast, Mr. Duterte had nothing but good words to say about Japan, where he said he was “more comfortable.”

He also said Japan has been a big source of financing for the Philippines, and added that it has programmed $6 billion in development assistance for the country.

He thanked the Japanese for helping the Filipinos living here as well.

“First of all, I’d like to extend my gratitude to the Japanese people and government for hosting so many Filipinos and providing them work, gainfully employed in the country of Japan,” he said.

Mr. Duterte arrived in Tokyo Tuesday afternoon for a three-day official visit.

He is expected to discuss economic and defense cooperation with Japan.


TRIBUNE

Noy’s pro-US policy obsolete — Andanar Written by Ted Tuvera Sunday, 30 October 2016 00:00


ANDANAR

Former President Aquino’s views on foreign relations was outdated and only fits his time and not the incumbent Duterte administration’s policies, a Palace official said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said while the Duterte administration respects Aquino’s unsolicited advice, he should be reminded that Duterte’s dealings with other countries are more inclusive rather than Aquino’s kowtowing to the United States.

Aquino, last Friday, criticized Duterte’s “policy alliance” separation with the US saying that the incumbent administration’s new foreign partners do not share his policy direction.

“It is important that we share common background, common values and common orientation. How can we be partners with those who have different views with us?” the former President was quoted as saying in Filipino in a report by GMA News Online.

READ MORE...


AQUINO

Despite promising to avoid criticizing his successor, Aquino said that it is more preferable for the Philippines to ally itself with the US than with Russia and China.

“The system existing in the United States has many similarities with that in the Philippines so it might be easier to work with another country where we have a lot of similarities to share as opposed to another where differences abound,” he said.

“President Aquino had his reasons behind his policies that were not incongruous during his time,” Andanar told the Tribune in a text message.

“President Duterte’s foreign policy opened our doors more to other countries, like China and Russia. We have given them a more level playing field in our country. In that regard, yes its different with that of the past administration’s foreign policy,” he elaborated.

Aquino claimed to have taken an “independent foreign policy” bragging that it was during his time that the Philippines filed an ambitious case against China’s sweeping nine-dash line claim over the whole of the South China Sea which encroached on portions of the country’s exclusive economic zone.

The Philippines won the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) which issued recently an award during the term of Duterte.

Under Aquino’s term, however, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) was signed to allow US troops’ expanded access to Philippine bases which is seen to solidify Washington’s pivot to Asia.

Duterte earlier said he is unlike former Philippine Presidents who are labeled as Uncle Sam’s lapdogs.

“President Aquino’s wisdom is invaluable. He is a member of the National Security Council,” Andanar, however, added.


ABELLA

On the other hand, Presidential spokesmann Ernesto Abella responded to Aquino saying that Duterte’s plan to abrogate the EDCA and to end US-RP military ties shows that the country is not willing to go to war.

“Separating from military dependence on the US signals that we do not intend to engage in war with any country or with China,” Abella told reporters in a text message.
“We are at an age where the Philippines has no enemies. We are committed to settling disputes peacefully,” he added.

Noy must be joking — Youth group

Youth group Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark) lambasted Aquino for claiming that the country had an independent foreign policy during his term.

“Is it possible that Aquino may have suffered from selective amnesia since stepping down from the Palace three months ago? Need we remind him of instances he preferred to shun the pleadings and protestations of the people during his six year tenure?” Spark spokesman Iya Gozum said.

The group cited the grisly murder of twenty-six year old, transgender Jennifer Laude, who was killed by Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton who was in the Philippines as part of regular military exercises under the EDCA. Laude’s murder happened only six months upon the signing of the treaty.

But the group maintained the biggest injury caused by Aquino’s version of “independent foreign policy” was the intrusion of US security forces in the botched operation to arrest Zulkifi Abhir, a suspected Malaysian bomb maker that the Federal Bureau of Investigation even offered a five-million dollar reward for his capture.

The botched operation directed by Aquino claimed lives of forty-four police commandos and twenty-four Moro victims.

“We cannot allow Aquino to re-write history, tarnish the memory of all victims in his pursuit of his ‘independent foreign policy’ as well as cleanse himself of accountability,” Gozum added.

Gozum argued that Aquino could have been “one of the most subservient of all the past presidents, probably second only to Ferdinand Marcos or Ramon Magsaysay”.

Aquino was the only Filipino president to ever board a US aircraft super carrier, the USS Carl Vinson in 2011.

SPARK admits that they are not only critical of Aquino’s subservient track record but also of that of the present administration.

They say that Duterte’s pronouncements against the US hold no water unless he repeals the EDCA, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement and establish new ones with other imperialist nations.

The group challenged Duterte to cross the Rubicon where no other Philippine president has ever reached, in terms of the nation’s sovereignty,


MANILA STANDARD

UN panel lauds Ph posted October 30, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations, Cecilia Rebong Photo credits: gov.ph

ALTHOUGH the special rapporteurs of outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lament the state of human rights in the country, the 18-man United Nations’ Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights welcomed the country’s gains in advancing the human rights.

That is one of the concluding observations of the UNCESCR that conducted the combined 5th and 6th periodic country report on the human rights situation in the country, according to Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, the Philippines’ permanent representative to the UN.

“This recognition of the UN Committee of the achievements of the Philippines does not only highlight the unwavering commitment of the country to human rights,” Rebong said.

“More importantly is that fact that the Filipino people is assured of its government’s political will for the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights as well as avenues to access effective remedies when these rights are violated,” she added.

READ MORE...

The committee is tasked to monitor states in implementing their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, of which the Philippines is a signatory.

The conclusions did not agree with the views of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who criticized the Philippines during the opening of the UNCESCR review last September.

Hussein said President Rodrigo Duterte’s “statements of scorn for international human rights law” display a “striking lack of understanding” of human rights institutions and “the principles which keep societies safe.”

“Empowering police forces to shoot to kill any individual whom they claim to be a suspect of drug crimes, with or without evidence, undermines justice,” he added.

But Rebong argued that Duterte never empowered police officers to “shoot to kill” any individual suspected of drug crimes and reiterated Duterte only affirmed the right of the police to defend themselves when their lives are endangered.

In its report, the Committee welcomed the adoption of a number of laws that protect and advance economic, social and cultural rights such as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (R.A. No. 10354) in 2012, the Anti-Enforced Disappearances Act (Republic Act No. 10353) in 2012, the Act amending the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 10022) in 2010, and the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710) in 2009.

The committee also welcomed the Philippines’ ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 2012.


ABS-CBN

FVR blasts Duterte anew, this time on climate pact ABS-CBN News Posted at Oct 30 2016 06:49 PM | Updated as of Oct 30 2016 09:37 PM

MANILA - Filipinos will be more prone to the devastating effects of typhoons if President Rodrigo Duterte continues to refuse ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, former president Fidel V. Ramos insisted.

In his Manila Bulletin column entitled, "Climate change: Attention P Digong, Cabinet and Congress," Ramos on Saturday hurled strong criticism against Duterte, who earlier threatened that he will not honor the international pact to lower climate-warming emissions.

"In his consistently frequent insulting diatribes against the US (United States), EU (European Union), and the UN (United Nations), in which President Du30 also keeps complaining against the December, 2015, Paris Agreement on Climate Change (crafted by 195 nations, the Philippines included), he is unwittingly shooting himself in the mouth, and also all of us, 101.5 million Filipinos," went the opinion column's opening salvo.

READ MORE...

"He may claim that to be more 'insulting than friendly' to our long-established allies is part of his God-given 'destiny.' But, this is obviously wrong, and full of S…. T !!!"

Ramos then cited billions of pesos in destruction left by typhoons ''Karen" and "Lawin," which ravaged northern Philippines this month.

"Is he allowing his countrymen/women to continue suffering from the devastating effects of typhoons 'Karen' and 'Lawin' – which are the forerunners of serial catastrophe 'La Niña' (twin of destructive drought 'El Niño'), about which Earth’s people were warned more than 20 years ago, and which must now be mitigated by more intense international cooperation and collective positive action?" he asked.

DUTERTE STAND

In Paris last December, nearly 200 countries -- including the Philippines under then president Benigno Aquino III -- agreed on a binding global compact to slash greenhouse gases and keep global temperature increases to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.

Manila promised to cut carbon emissions by 70 percent by year 2030, even if the country is not a major emitter.

Wealthy countries were also asked to set aside at least $100 billion yearly as financial assistance to developing countries to enable all countries to actualize renewable energy sources starting 2020.

Duterte has repeatedly expressed disdain for the pact, saying cutting carbon emissions at a point when the Philippines' economic rise is just starting will be unfair since industrialized countries have been giving off such emissions for decades.

He also vowed to develop the Philippines based on the needs of the public, not according to international demands.
Ramos, however, emphasized that the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), on which the Paris Agreement is based, allows developing countries with relatively smaller carbon footprints to continue to grow their economies, especially if done in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

"It is clear enough (and should be readily understood by leaders) that the Paris agreement does not impose emission reduction on the Philippines. Should any country decide to eventually become a party to the agreement, it will only be asked to submit its nationally determined contributions, which are essentially successive 5-year climate plans that we can determine on our own, according to our national circumstances, development goals, and domestic capacity," he underscored.

"The Paris agreement also does not have to counter or reduce our country’s industrialization plans. It, in fact, recognizes that developing countries can peak their emissions at a later time, as they pursue sustainable development and poverty eradication according to their respective national plans."

Ramos also argued that ratifying the deal will "advance the interests" of Filipinos.

"It will also enable us to secure more investments towards our climate goals and gain access to the financial, technological, and capacity-building support to be provided to parties of the Agreement," he said.

By contrast, if the Philippines does not ratify the deal, it will be forced "to continue on our own without having to consider or report on our contributions to the global response to climate change."

To date, 85 parties accounting for at least 55% of global emissions have already ratified the Paris Agreement.

The deal will enter into force on Tuesday and the first meeting of its parties is set in Marrakech, Morocco on Saturday. The Philippines, having yet to ratify the pact, will only sit as an observer at the Marrakech meeting.

Ramos, in a previous opinion piece, had criticized the performance of the Duterte administration for its first 100 days, but also called for Filipinos to rally behind the firebrand leader in another column.

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

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Ramos: Du30 must prove navigation skills, mental stability ABS-CBN News
Posted at Oct 17 2016 04:33 PM

MANILA – After criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte over what he believes were lost opportunities during the new leader’s first 100 days in power, former President Fidel V. Ramos called on Filipinos to support the firebrand president.

In the last of his two-part opinion piece for the Manila Bulletin, Ramos urged Filipinos to unite and rally behind the president in steering the nation towards success.

“We have to teach everyone teamwork. Filipinos cannot anymore afford to be fragmented and fractious. We need to be and act as one nation. We have to move together, in the right direction. We need to care for each other. We need to share and contribute whatever talent one has. We must dare and try all proper means to get results faster, which outcomes should be greater than the sum of the parts,” Ramos said.

“Experience teaches us that no man/woman, be he/she the president or billionaire captain of industry, can single-handedly bring progress. The job of nation-building requires every citizen, no matter what his/her stature in life is, to do his/her share.”
Ramos said apart from the support of Filipinos, Duterte as the nation’s top leader, must have a vision for the country.

“From day one, a national leader must define where he will bring the nation and show the people how to get there,” Ramos said.

“He leads by setting the right example that the citizenry should emulate. He leads by making the correct decisions for the betterment of the many, not enrichment of the few.”

JUGGLING ACT

He said, Duterte will be like a “juggler” while addressing the many concerns and problems of the country, and he must have the skills to solve all of these.

“As Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief, he must perform with greater agility and competence than the ordinary circus juggler handling hot potatoes while on a tightwire 100 meters up, catching and managing the balls in a calm, harmonious manner, and not drop any in the process,” he said.

“As skipper of our flag carrier ‘Pilipinas,’ P. Du30 must prove his navigational skills, mental stability, and psychological fortitude to steer our leaky and overloaded ship safely to the ‘Promised Land.’”

Ramos advised Duterte to address the country’s other challenges, such as poverty, endemic diseases, hunger, climate change, and joblessness, hoping that “in the next 100 days, we will have more of the good than the bad.”

“P. Du30, therefore, cannot just continue skippering our ship willy-nilly headlong, oblivious of danger signs, without addressing the strategic imperatives of public safety, community harmony, and national development,” he said.

“As commander-in-chief and “Pinoy Family Head,” it is P. Digong’s inescapable responsibility to first put our divided house in order.”

Ramos, who pushed Duterte to run for president, earlier lamented that the Philippines lost badly during the first 100 days of the administration.

The former leader criticized Duterte for being too focused on his war on drugs, neglecting other social ills such as poverty.
Ramos also called out Duterte for his foreign policy which is hostile towards the Philippines long-time ally, the United States.

He also lamented Duterte's insults against outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea who helped Filipino veterans of the Korean war.


BBC UK

Philippines Duterte: God told me to stop swearing BBC News BBC News 7 hrs ago


© Provided by BBC News Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe toast their countries' relations during a banquet in Tokyo on 26 October 2016.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has promised God he will clean up his famously vulgar language.

Arriving in his home city of Davao after a trip to Japan, Mr Duterte said God gave him an ultimatum on the plane.

"I heard a voice telling me to stop swearing or the plane will crash in mid-air, and so I promised to stop," he told reporters at the airport.

Mr Duterte's blunt speaking, often directed at the West, has contributed to his popularity at home.

READ MORE...

He called President Barack Obama a "son of a w***e" , called the European Union "hypocritical" , threatened to leave the UN and accepted comparisons to Hitler, saying he would gladly kill three million drug addicts.

All were responses to criticisms of his bloody war on drugs, that has seen thousands of alleged drug dealers and users killed by police and vigilante groups.

Mr Duterte said he had promised God he would not "express slang, cuss words and everything", and said a "promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people".

But he suggested his promise might have its limits. Whether he will stick to not swearing when talking about the US, EU or arch political foe Senator Leila de Lima, will depend on timing, local media quoted him as saying.

Like most Filipinos, Mr Duterte is Roman Catholic, although he has boasted about his womanising and called the Pope a "son of a w***e" for causing traffic jams during his visit.

The president has spoken about being abused by an American priest as a child, saying that informed his political views.

He recently said that the Philippines wanted "a separation" from long-standing ally the US, and wanted American troops to leave the country , possibly within two years.

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

ALSO FROM PHILSTAR

Rody urges Japan: Invest more in Philippines By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 27, 2016 - 12:00am 0 283 googleplus0 1


President Duterte is greeted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo yesterday. AP

Philippines, Japan to stand together on sea row

TOKYO – After telling American investors in the Philippines to pack up and leave, President Duterte courted Japanese businessmen yesterday to put their money in the country and contribute to its economic growth and make “meaningful changes” in the lives of people.

“Maybe, if you come to the Philippines, you just have to contend with the new dynamics of my country,” he said, apparently referring to his independent foreign policy.

Duterte has been assailing the United States due to its criticism of his bloody war against illegal drugs. His anti-US rhetoric was said to have spooked American businesses, but Duterte boasted the country could survive without them.

READ MORE...

The President went to China last week for a state visit and declared “separation” from the US, but he clarified here that he merely discussed economics and not military alliance with Beijing.

The US and Japan have openly supported the Philippines in its maritime row with China, which has aggressively occupied the South China Sea. Japan also has a sea dispute with China.

In his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Duterte said they agreed to collaborate on political, security and defense issues to create an enabling environment for the two countries’ economies to grow.

Duterte added, “Japan will continue to play an important role in modernizing the capabilities of the Philippines for maritime domain awareness and maritime security as well as in humanitarian relief and disaster risk reduction response.”

Both countries agreed to work together on peaceful settlement and adherence to the rule of law with regard to the disputed South China Sea.

RULE OF LAW ISSUE

But the issue on the rule of law referred only to the South China Sea dispute, not to Duterte’s controversial drug war that strained relations between the Philippines and the US, an ally of Japan. Explaining his war on drugs and the need for the country to be able to stand on its own, Duterte said at present, “we are putting in place policies aimed at ensuring stability in the macro-economic policies,” increasing competitiveness and in crucial infrastructure, improving ease of doing business and investing further in human capital development by cultivating an “environment conducive for business.”

“We count on Japan to further extend its valuable support in our pursuits,” Duterte said, also citing the need for rural development and increasing agriculture productivity, in a speech at the Philippine Economic Forum attended by potential Japanese investors and Filipino business groups at the Prince Park Tower.

“We would like to see more investors and more businesses setting up shop in the Philippines,” Duterte, who is on a three-day official visit here, said.

While they are welcome to invest, Duterte said the businessmen would have to contend with new policies.

“I just want friendship with everybody. Go there but do not expect so much, expectations from maybe the policies of the West,” Duterte said.

JAPAN LARGEST TRADING PARTNER

Japan is the biggest trading partner of the Philippines, followed by the US and China.

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

Duterte also recognized Japan as the Philippines’ “top source of approved investments and second major source of official development assistance.

“These economic development thrusts are necessary ingredients in making the growth impact on the lives of our people,” Duterte said.

“Aside from nurturing our people’s enterprising spirit through the promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises, the government is equally determined to generate more jobs by making it easier and more attractive to do business in the country,” he added.

While he dished out his displeasure against the US, Duterte was all praises for Japan, describing it as a great country that helped the Philippines “in so many ways in the past.”

Peace and security

Calling Japan as a “special friend” and “closer as a brother,” Duterte asked for help on how the Philippines could boost the country’s defense system, particularly in air and naval assets.

Both leaders agreed to enhance military cooperation.

“Japan continues to play an important role in modernizing the capabilities of the Philippines for maritime domain and maritime security as well as humanitarian relief and disaster risk reduction response,” he added.

On the South China Sea row, the two leaders acknowledged the importance of a rules-based approach to the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes without resorting to threat or use of force in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the UN Charter and relevant international conventions.

In a joint statement, Duterte and Abe also stressed self-restraint and non-militarization of the sea dispute.

Abe stressed the importance of the South China Sea in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

“The South China Sea issue is a matter of interest before the entire global community that is directly linked to regional peace and stability,” he said.

CHINA SEA ARBITRATION

“With regard to the arbitration award, we have confirmed the importance of peaceful resolution of maritime disputes such as resolution in compliance with UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, amongst others, without resorting to threat or use of force,” the Prime Minister added.

Following Duterte’s move to strengthen economic ties with Beijing, Abe welcomed the President’s visit to Beijing in a bid to advance the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

As for Japan, Abe said “taking this visit by President Duterte as another opportunity, I look forward to further deepening our bilateral bond of friendship and to cooperate together towards the stability and prosperity of the region and the international community.”

Abe described the Philippines and Japan as “important partners,” sharing fundamental values including freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

“Both Japan and the Philippines are maritime nations and support to enhance maritime safety capability will be strengthened,” Abe said.

“I am very happy that we have just signed the documents covering the transfer of large patrol vessels as well as the letter of arrangement on the transfer of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force trainer aircraft TC-90s,” the Prime Minister said.

Abe also welcomed the agreement on the promotion of agriculture for the consolidation of peace in Mindanao, stressing that “Japan supports the endeavors of President Duterte with regard to peace in Mindanao.”

As part of counterterrorism measures, Abe announced the transfer of high-speed small vessels and equipment. “Cooperation in the area of counterterrorism will continue to deepen going forward,” he said.

Japan also vowed to work closely with the Philippines on infrastructure development, especially in Metro Manila and Davao areas.

He described his talks with Duterte as a “valuable exchange of views,” focusing also on the exploration of peace and stability.

Support for ASEAN chairmanship

Abe also expressed support for the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ASEAN next year. The Prime Minister also managed to express Japan’s concern anew on the threat of North Korea’s nuclear missile development.

In his reply, Duterte recognized Japan’s support.

“This is an important leadership role for the Philippines as we seek fully to realize the goal and rules-based, people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN,” Duterte said.

Duterte added Japan would be a crucial ASEAN dialogue partner “in ensuring the efforts to strengthen adherence to the rule of law as the bedrock of stable and secure relation in the ASEAN region and beyond.”

“The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region and uphold the shared values of democracy, adherence to the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes, including the South China Sea,” Duterte said.

Earlier, Duterte expressed confidence that more Japanese businesses would go to the Philippines as he noted Japan’s assistance for the country to achieve peace and development especially in Mindanao.

“Also crucial in our entire effort for economic development is the need to ensure peace and security in our country,” Duterte said.

“In this light, we appreciate Japan’s role in the peace-building efforts in Mindanao that is geared towards attainment of a more peaceful life for our country and the ending of a vicious cycle of poverty and conflict,” he added.

Complimentarily, Duterte said there was also the need to decentralize growth through agriculture development, particularly in rural areas that were more dependent on agriculture like Mindanao that had been producing the country’s top agricultural exports such as bananas, pineapples, coconut and also tuna.

“We must likewise pursue improved connectivity to infrastructure development projects. Japan has the corresponding capacity to be our reliable partner in all its resources, expertise and technical know-how,” Duterte said.

“More than just making a dent in improving poverty as statistics, these incentives are deliberately aimed at closing the inequality gap in the country’s development noticeable in the levers of urban and rural development,” he said.


INQUIRER

Japan’s Abe acts as bridge between Manila, Washington The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network / 12:11 PM October 28, 2016


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, is shown the way by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after a joint press conference following their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

TOKYO—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to maintain cooperation with the United States at their meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, highlighting the importance of the role the Japan-U.S. alliance plays in the Asia-Pacific region.

Abe is concerned the regional security structure might be affected if the Philippine president strengthens his stance of leaning toward China. Duterte said the Philippines was on Tokyo’s side over the South China Sea issue, but it still remains to be seen if this will lead to a change in his anti-U.S. political stance.

At their talks, Abe and Duterte exchanged views on the significance of both the Japan-U.S. and U.S.-Philippine alliances for regional security. The prime minister appears to have urged Duterte to place importance on relations with the U.S.

READ MORE...

It is unusual for a Japanese prime minister to act as a bridge between the U.S. and another country. A senior Foreign Ministry official explained that what pushed Abe to do so was his extraordinary determination to “tie up the Philippines in the Japan-U.S. camp.”

Aiming to put the brakes on China’s unilateral maritime advances in the South China Sea, Tokyo has been employing a strategy to heighten pressure on Beijing in coordination with relevant countries by using as leverage the arbitration court ruling in July that rejected China’s sovereignty claims over the sea.

BACKSTORY: Duterte visits Japan after China tilt

If China and the Philippines accelerate their deepening ties, Tokyo would have to review the basic strategy, especially given that Japan has focused on Tokyo-Washington-Manila trilateral cooperation as a key component.

Japan had been especially concerned about Duterte’s stance on the arbitration court ruling as the Philippine president practically shelved it on his recent visit to Beijing. Tokyo was relieved to hear him say during the meeting with Abe that the ruling was legally binding.

READ: No PH-China military alliance, Duterte tells Abe

Tokyo is divided over how to interpret Duterte’s statement because he has flip-flopped on his remarks. The government is yet to determine whether he is a tough strategist eyeing to extract economic cooperation while balancing Manila’s relations with Washington and Beijing, or a U.S.-hating troublemaker who does not understand the reality of diplomacy and security issues. “It will take a little more time to solidify our evaluation of Duterte,” a senior government official said.


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