There is a wind of change hovering in the economic front in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte travels to China for a 4-day state visit and after successful interactions with the other Asian leaders in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Brunei.
“It is now the time to stop being a beggar,” President Rodrigo Duterte said during a news briefing before his departure for a 4-day state visit to China. And add to this what he said: “Filipinos are not “mendicants”. “Philippines will survive without foreign aids.” During his news briefing last October 6, Duterte dared the United States, the European Union and the human rights advocate to pull out their assistance to the Philippines if they continue to criticize his war against illegal drugs without understanding the seriousness of the problems.
President Rodrigo Duterte statements are loaded with meanings, centering on the many days of rumblings between the United States, the EU and the various human advocates and critics on his style of his war against the very core of illegal drugs in the Philippines.
Duterte said he was ready to uphold the intergity of the Philippines and that “we will survive”..and we will not compromise our dignity as Filipinos.”
With all these terse statements, Duterte initiated more discussions to let other countries, like China and Russia, to build economic ties. Lately, Duterte visited Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Brunei to build a stronger relationship with other Asian neighbors.
And the plan is to have an independent economic strategy and opening ties with other countries will benefit the Philippines.
And recently, when the former President Fidel Ramos, who did not join the delegation to China, attended the send-off party for the outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines,, Goldberg. FVR said on the new strategic plan of Duterte on foreign policy: “It’s not an independent foreign policy anymore that counts for the Philippines. It is interdependent foreign policy. Friendship should never change but indeed must be multiplied with new people.”
Goldberg said: “The Philippines should have a good relationship with its neighbors. It should have good relationship with China, it should have relationship with all countires. That’s something we support. That’s good for the country and that’s good for the United States. Ambassador Goldberg agreed with the sentiments of Ramos that foreign relationships are not limited to a binary choice.
Now the wind is changing as the out-going US Ambassador Goldberg and former President Fidel Ramos viewed the new strategy of President Duterte’s new strategy on foreign relations.
Meanwhile, President Duterte’s state visit to China has gained favors for the Philippines. There are 12 Memorandum of Agreements signed with the Chinese officials like : Establishment of a joint coastal guard committee on maritime cooperation; agreement on economic and technological cooperation between the two governments; strengthening trade, industry and economic cooperation, to name a few.
And the mellowed Duterte said: “The Philippines will not enter into new military alliances with other countries nor break the old ones.” And his critics will be silenced when he said while in China: “I am not authorize to discuss the issue on joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea because the sharing of resources requires the approval of the congress and “every Filipino involved”. And he added that the may decide to stop the war exercises between the US and the Philippines but he is also not keen on pursuing military alliances with China or with any other countries- “to avoid adding fuel” to what he described as a “volatile world”.
Would this be another star performance of President Duterte in the next 100 days?