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Dr. Reynaldo Ileto, a leading Filipino historian, is concerned about Duterte’s survival, should he move too quickly with the regional realignment:“He cannot break up with the United States too abruptly… he’d be killed.”For a while, in Manila, we were discussing the pattern established; the way the West treats the ‘rebellious’ countries and their governments: Ukraine, Brazil, and even the former President of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo.“Arroyo moved closer to China”, explained Dr. Ileto: “They got her indicted for corruption. Only Duterte managed to release her.”Antagonizing China, even provoking it into a military conflict, has been the mainstay of US foreign policy in Asia, at least during the later years of the Obama administration. This dangerous trend will most likely continue, even accelerate, since Donald Trump has already taken office.
President Duterte’s stubborn determination to reach a peaceful arrangement with China may put him squarely on the hit list of the Western Empire.
Prof. Roland Simbulan from the Department of Social Sciences of the University of the Philippines confirms what Dr. Ileto suggested above:The Philippines in the Center of Asian Realignment“If Duterte moves too fast, he will be overthrown, by the military. He is an outsider. Police and army hold grudges against him. Many top military commanders here were trained by the US, and often even corrupted by the US. Duterte’s anti-US and anti-imperialist policy goes beyond rhetoric; it is real. He is confrontational, he is against the US foreign policy towards the Philippines and the world.”