June 19, 2018, 3:23 pm
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Aside from loans, what support can Xi Jinping give Duterte?

PRESIDENT Duterte takes pride in his being smart in matters of geopolitics. After all, as he more than once told his captive audiences, he is a graduate of Foreign Service at the Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Recently, however, he revised it to just say he took up foreign service after he was exposed not to be in the list of those who graduated from Lyceum with a degree in foreign service.

Last Tuesday he again demonstrated his expertise in geopolitics putting down the United States for having lost its will to fight. 

“Amerikano has lost its will to fight. Ang kanila ‘yung puro weapon rin na lang – cruise missile, maybe they also have the supersonic thing. But ‘yung boots on the ground, ‘yung pupunta doon tapos makipag-away tao por tao, takot ang America,” he said at the send-off of the scientists who will conduct a study in Benham Rise renamed Philippine Rise, which has been declared as by the United Nations as part of the Philippines’ extended continental shelf.

“Hindi mo maasahan ang America,” he said.

He said his knowledge of geopolitics is the reason he does not insist on the Philippine claim over features in the Spratlys which are also being claimed by China.

“So naggaganun-ganun ako. I’m playing geopolitics with everybody. Pag kawala eh di sabihin ko China pwede ka sigurong magdala ng --- ubos na ang mga sundalo ko, maybe you can replace it with about three battalions eh puro armoured ‘to lahat. Might as well start with them in the front,” he said.

Besides Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said, promised to support him against those who will try to oust him. He has earlier identified the Central Intelligence Agency as wanting to oust him.

He said: “But the assurances of Xi Jinping was very encouraging, we will not --- ayan nandiyan ngayon sila --- we will not allow you to be taken out from your office and we will not allow the Philippines to go to the dogs. Siguro kasi freely elected leader naman ako. It could be a very justified statement.”

Former Solicitor Florin Hilbay said on Facebook Duterte’s statement is that of a “Commander in Chief who doesn’t trust the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

He added: “That is a President who fears the wrath of fellow citizens. This is a President who remains in power for himself. He will not defend our territories. He will not serve and protect Filipinos.”

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, critic of Duterte, said, “Duterte’s statement betrays his paranoia about the state of affairs in his own country. No one is trying to kick him out; he is doing the destabilizing all by himself.”

But the best remark is that of fellow Malaya columnist JB Baylon, who reminded Duterte that it’s the People (and God) who install and remove leaders.

“Other countries can provide loans and/or asylum,” Baylon said.

China provided asylum to Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk was toppled by the Khmer forces in 1970.

The United States provided asylum the Shah of Iran who was driven out by angry Iranians inspired by Ayatollah Rohullah Khomeini in 1979. And of course, President Marcos who was brought to Hawaii at the height of the February 1986 People Power Revolution.

Duterte has obtained the loans. Will he avail of the other one?

***

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