|This article appears in the October 14, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Philippines to Obama: Keep Your Aid!
by Michael Billington
The tremendous transformation to optimism and moral strength taking place within the Philippines, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, is captured in the following brief report, reprinted from the EIR Daily Alert Service. The hysterical diatribe against Duterte coming from Obama and his ilk over Duterte’s War on Drugs is not surprising, given that Obama is pushing drug legalization across the country and around the world, contributing to the worst drug epidemic in American history and tearing every community in the country apart.
Some of the Cabinet officials referenced here have been technocrats in the past, serving Philippine governments subservient to the Washington and London bankers, but have gained courage and moral fortitude from Duterte’s leadership. Duterte has dedicated himself to ending the hunger, poverty, and drug addiction of his country, and to totally rejecting Obama’s effort to use his country as a battle station for a war on China.
Oct. 7—“Go to Hell with your aid!” Was this Philippine President Duterte again telling the U.S. that the people of the Philippines were no longer America’s Little Brown Brothers? Close—but in fact it is a quote from President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1964, after the assassination of JFK (who had supported Sukarno) and the launching of a “regime change” operation against him from London and Washington, as part of America’s tragic turn to British imperialism and colonial wars.
But Duterte said essentially the same thing yesterday: “Go away, bring your money to somewhere else. We will survive as a nation.” Speaking to police officers in the southern city of Butuan, Duterte said, “How do you look at us, [as] mendicants? We will survive. Even if we’ll go through hardships, we will survive. But we will never, never compromise our dignity. If you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead, we will not beg for it.”
An End to Subservience Declared
And not only the President is standing up to Obama:
• Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay posted on his website a statement titled, “America has failed us.” It reads, in part: “Breaking away from the shackling dependency of the Philippines to effectively address both internal and external security threats has become imperative in putting an end to our nation’s subservience to United States interests.” He said that, despite being granted independence in 1946, “the former colonial masters held onto invisible chains that reined us in toward dependency and submission as little brown brothers not capable of true independence and freedom.” He said that the “carrot and stick” policy had been “effectively used all through the long years since our independence to force Filipinos into submission to American demands and interests. This is what [President Duterte] is now trying to liberate us from.”
• General (ret.) Delfin Lorenzana, the Defense Secretary, speaking to the foreign press today, was asked about Duterte’s charge that the CIA was out to assassinate him. He said that he had asked U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg about it, who said, “We don’t do that.” It is not known whether Lorenzana reminded the Ambassador of Obama’s weekly drone kill list. Lorenzana did note, however, that President Duterte “keeps saying to us in private, ‘I don’t think I can solve this problem during my time,’ ” asking them to continue the mission if he were to be assassinated. Lorenzana said Duterte was “not fatalistic,” but was aware that “a person’s life is very fleeting.”
Lorenzana said his country had faced similar attacks from the U.S. during the time of Marcos, concluding: “Personally, I welcome this development. It’s time maybe to reassess our relationship. Maybe we should reassess what we should be getting from the alliance . . . It’s part of maybe growing up. We should not be too dependent on one country,” adding that he was looking to China and Russia for possible arms purchases and other help.
• In Washington, D.C., the Philippine Secretaries of Finance, Budget, and Socioeconomic Planning spoke at the Philippine Embassy Wednesday, and all three were extremely optimistic about Duterte’s commitment to reversing the economic disaster left over from the past administrations, openly admitting that the poverty rate in the country is the worst in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), that the wealth gap is horrendous, that the “oligarchy” living in Manila had ignored any development outside of the capital (although the infrastructure in Manila is also disastrous), and that agricultural output and farmer income is literally declining from an already low base.
When an American “wealth management” financier rose to warn them that “Duterte’s statements and behavior” were causing her clients to pull out of the Philippines and that they had better stop him, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez responded that he had been meeting with Canadians, Japanese, and others who were very anxious to invest in the country, and that the government would be meeting with China this month to discuss infrastructure investments. “If some of you in the U.S. are having second thoughts about investing,” he said, “it is too bad for you to miss out, but we have plenty of investors.”
This is a powerful model for the world’s developing nations of the necessary fight against Obama’s imperial warmongering and economic looting. Projected U.S. aid to the Philippines for 2017 is a paltry $188 million and perhaps a few worn out Coast Guard vessels. The United States long ago stopped building any infrastructure in the Philippines, or anywhere else for that matter.