PRESIDENT Duterte’s official trip last week to Russia combined with his two visits to China — both adversaries to the US in different degrees at different times and different spheres — marks the dawning of a new era for our nation: Independence from the US, which has subjugated the country in various forms since it aborted our freedom at the turn of the century.
Unless the Yellow Cult manages by some miracle to grab power and reverse Duterte’s assertion of our sovereignty, that is. After all, the Yellow Cult’s founders Ninoy and his widow, President Cory, as well as their son Noynoy, were so slavish to the US.
Think about it. The President’s official visits abroad signal our stance in our relationship to the world, and especially to its superpowers. In the case of Corazon Aquino, the dust of the EDSA Revolution had hardly settled before she made her first official visit to the US, practically acknowledging her indebtedness to the Americans for putting her in power. Her son Benigno 3rd’s first trip abroad as a president was to the US, a few months after he assumed power.
Has Duterte visited the US? No, and I don’t think he ever will, the first Philippine president who would not “report” as a vassal to the superpower.
Duterte’s two visits to China made him an easy target of the Yellows’ black propaganda, that he was the Asian superpower’s puppet. However, his forging of close ties to Russia last week, given the existing strong economic and cultural ties with the US, put us equidistant, as it were, to the world’s three competing superpowers, a pose that announces to the world: “The Philippines cannot be a vassal of any state,” an assertion depicted in an inspired Manila Times editorial cartoon.
Duterte in fact announced his “pivot” to independence early in his administration. In his first visit to China in October 2016, in of all places, Beijing, he said in a speech at a forum in the Great Hall of the People, attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli: “In this venue, your honors, I announce my separation from the United States…Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”