Sunday, November 6, 2016

Do You Want To Be Friends Or Not, Duerte?

On this last Wednesday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duerte did not mince words when he spoke more of his frustrations with the United States. After U.S. Senator Ben Cardin claimed he would oppose sending tens of thousands of weapons to the Philippines in the latest trade deal, the Philippines are now left without a deal they were expecting. In the perspective of the U.S., this is a matter of human rights, as Duerte has had thousands of narcotic drug dealers killed outside of judicial grounds, and more weapons would only further Duerte's plan. Those in the Philippines upset at the falling through of the deal call this disguised geopolitics. Duerte has explicitly brandished that he is being courted by China and Russia on the premise they will receive any weapons they wish. As author Zhai Yun Tan wrote for The Christian Science Monitor, Duerte would received extreme backlash if he attempted to sever U.S. relations and ally with either of the Communist states. The military is highly supportive of the U.S., and would take several steps back if it tried to re-adjust itself to Communist state weapons and technology. These latest lashes by the Philippine president bring into question how far the official is willing to go, and even what his interests and motives are for rattling the historic and strong U.S. relations his country has fostered for years.

Ben Ubert

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