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Filipino Sen. Kit Tatad Tells Duterte: Rescind the Illegal Order That Allows U.S. Bases in the Philippines

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Sept. 9, 2016 (EIRNS)–Former Philippine Sentor Kit Tatad, in the context of reprimanding President Duterte for using foul language while defending Philippine sovereignty, makes the point that to actually end U.S. colonial power over the country he must rescind the EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement), the illegal executive decree rammed through by President Aquino on behalf of Obama in April 2014, which allows the U.S. to set up military bases all over the country. Tatad writes:

“Because EDCA is not a treaty but a mere executive agreement, DU30 [a nickname for Duterte] can revoke it anytime, if he wants to make a dramatic show of his political independence. However, there has been no hint of DU30 considering it. DU30’s desire to be seen as independent of any foreign power is admirable and deserves to succeed. But his words must be matched by deeds.”

Sen. Tatad then looks back to Marcos, in whose cabinet he served: “If he is looking for a model who spoke to the U.S. with dignity and honor without, in the least, appearing subservient or servile, he could probably take a leaf from Ferdinand Marcos. At the outset, Washington wanted to treat Marcos as some kind of a greenhouse plant. But although determined to be a strong and dependable U.S. ally, he was even more determined to stand on his own as a Filipino leader. And he showed it by deed.”

Tatad references Marcos’s rejection of Lyndon Johnson’s request in 1966 for Philippine combat troops to be sent to Vietnam, then adds:

“That same year, Marcos sought the reduction of the term of the 1947 Military Bases Agreement from 99 years to the next 25 years of the unexpired period. Later, Marcos asked that the bases be known as Philippine military bases, under the command of a Filipino commander, and over which the Philippine flag alone should fly, except in front of the U.S. barracks where the Stars and Stripes may also fly. Finally, Marcos demanded that the rent-free provision of the agreement be re-interpreted to allow the U.S. to provide an Economic Support Fund to the Philippine government.

“In 1975, Marcos accepted the One-China policy and opened diplomatic relations with Beijing — well ahead of the U.S.. In 1976, he normalized relations with Moscow.”

Ending EDCA now, before Obama starts a war, is indeed urgent.

Obama Urged the Philippines to Go Easy When Fighting Drugs; He Lectured Duterte on Doing Things the “Right Way”

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Sept. 8, 2016 (EIRNS)–Pres. Obama today, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Laos, urged President Duterte in the Philippines, to go easy when fighting drugs. Obama did this by resorting to the usual imperial code language, that the Philippines should abide by “the rule of law,” and should follow “international norms,” etc.

Duterte has acted, since becoming president, to make good on his stated priority: to eliminate drug trafficking in his nation. Obama criticized Duterte’s crackdown on dope dealers: “As despicable as these (crime) networks may be and as much damage as they do, it is important from our perspective to make sure that we do it the right way.”

Obama unctuously replied to reporters’ questions about what he and Duterte talked about in the short, casual exchange they had before an ASEAN function. Obama said that he told Mr. Duterte, “Because the consequences of when you do it the wrong way, are innocent people get hurt, and you have a bunch of unintended consequences that don’t solve the problem.”

Obama’s own “right way” to do things, is seen in the hundreds of thousands dead from his killer policies of warfare, drones, domestic economic collapse, and foreign aggression.

At ASEAN Summit, Duterte Met Obama Briefly, but Refused UN Meeting

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Sept. 7, 2016 (EIRNS)–At the ASEAN Summit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who refused an earlier request for a meeting with Ban Ki-Moon, also skipped the ASEAN meeting with the UN today, sending his Foreign Secretary. The UN earlier issued two reports condemning Duterte’s war on drugs on grounds of human rights and extra-judicial killings, to which Duterte responded by calling the UN a “stupid institution.”

Duterte did have a brief discussion with Obama before the gala dinner, and spokesmen on both sides pretended that that cleared the air over Obama cancelling the scheduled meeting and Duterte’s strong denunciation of Obama’s intent to lecture him on human rights and the war on drugs. Otherwise, Duterte was in great demand for bilateral meetings by ASEAN leaders and others, calling on ASEAN to unite with him in a war against drugs and terrorism.

Duterte refused to bring up the Hague Arbitration, and it was not mentioned in the ASEAN-China communiques. He did release pictures of Chinese ships in the area of the Scarborough Shoal, concerned that they may be for creating an artificial island there. China has not responded.

Duterte “Apology” to Obama, But Not Really

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Sept. 6, 2016 (EIRNS)–After President Obama yesterday cancelled his meeting with Philippine President Duterte planned for today, Duterte is reported in the world press to have issued an “apology” for his statements, in which he had challenged Obama’s arrogant intention to confront him on human rights and extra-judicial killings in the war on drugs, and had said he’d call him a “son of a bitch” (or “son of a whore” literally) in his local language if Obama tried to lecture him.

But it was hardly an apology. The statement released by his spokesperson read: “While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US President,” the President said. “Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the United States with which we have had a long standing partnership.”

When he arrived in Vientiane, in a meeting with Filipinos in the area, he took issue with a statement issued by Susan Rice, Obama’s national security advisor, that Obama would bring up the issue of extrajudicial killings against Mr. Duterte at the ASEAN Summits.

“That is not a proper subject of a summit like this. It would be improper and highly disrespectful,” Duterte said. “If at all, it should be done in the highest level of diplomacy. I am not a governor of a state or a city mayor of the United States.”

There is talk of the Obama/Duterte meeting being rescheduled for later during the three-day summit. If not, Duterte will still be quite busy, with eight other bilateral meetings with heads of state. He intends to call on the other Asian nations to cooperate in crushing drugs and terrorism throughout the region.

Since the Philippines is next in the rotation of nations to lead ASEAN for one year at a time, Duterte became the new chairman of ASEAN today, which will add to Obama’s indigestion.

WAPO Geopolitical Threat: Stop Duterte, or China Wins Asia

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Sept. 6, 2016 (EIRNS)–In an article by Emily Rauhala, a {Washington Post} China correspondent, titled “The son of whore story is about so much more than Duterte’s dirty mouth,” the WAPO puts out a warning in stark terms: If Philippines President Duterte is not eliminated, China will “win.”

This geopolitical hysteria should be taken seriously. Obama yesterday cancelled the scheduled meeting with Duterte after Duterte made clear that the Philippines is no longer a US colony, that nothing will stop his committemnt to crush the drug trade which is killing his nation’s youth, and that if Obama were to carry out his threat to lecture Duterte on extra judicial killings of drug lords, Duterte would challange him on the U.S. extrajudicial killings both in the U.S. and around the world — and would cuss him out.

Rauhala writes that there is a “potent strain of anti-U.S. sentiment that could shift the balance of power in the South China Sea. The Philippines is a former U.S. colony. About 25 years ago, Filipino politicians fought to expel U.S. forces, promising to free the country from foreign domination. Now, with China pressing its claims to most of the South China Sea, some — but not all — want U.S. forces back. An agreement backed by former president Benigno Aquino III, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, would place more U.S. ships at Philippine ports…. Duterte’s insults may seem trivial, but when they lead to the cancellation of high-level U.S.-Philippine meetings, leaving the door open for China, they are not.”