Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Duterte tells US businessmen: ‘Go ahead, pack your bags’

With due respect, Mr. President, I do not believe it is in the country's national interest to tell US businessmen, or any foreign businessmen doing legitimate business here: “Go ahead. Pack your bags. We will sacrifice. We will recover, I assure you. We will live and survive. We have gone through the worst of times in this planet,” the President said in a press briefing at the NAIA Terminal 2 shortly before his departure.
for Japan.
There is no doubt that we would survive without them but we aim not only for survival but at dramatic economic growth which we cannot achieve without US and other foreign investments. I am sure the Department of Trade and Industry, the Board of Investments, the Department of Finance and the NEDA are now working together to moderate and positivize this statement.

Duterte tells US businessmen: ‘Go ahead, pack your bags’ 

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President Duterte maintained he would never be subservient to the interests of the US or any other foreign country. File photo

• Calls US exec ‘gago’

• Hints at dropping EDCA

MANILA, Philippines – If his scathing and vulgar comments are causing consternation and worry among American investors and businessmen, President Duterte said yesterday they can always pack up and leave.
Duterte was reacting to pronouncements from visiting US State Department Assistant Secretary Daniel Russel that his conflicting statements were causing jitters among US businessmen.
“Go ahead. Pack your bags. We will sacrifice. We will recover, I assure you. We will live and survive. We have gone through the worst of times in this planet,” the President said in a press briefing at the NAIA Terminal 2 shortly before his departure for Japan.
Russel on Friday said Duterte’s recent statements – especially his “separation” from the US – have ushered in a “climate of uncertainty.”
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“The succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines’ intentions have created consternation in a number of countries,” Russel told reporters Monday after meeting Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. in Manila.
“Not only in mine and not only among governments, but also growing concern in other communities, in the expat Filipino community, in corporate boardrooms as well.”
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Duterte called the US official gago or stupid for asking him to tone down his anti-US rhetoric, saying it was Washington that started the rift between them.
“I had a talk with Secretary Yasay and here’s a guy his name is Russel, if you can just tone down our rhetoric. But I was not the one who started this rift. They are the ones who started it,” the President told reporters.
He noted that during the campaign, Ambassador Philip Goldberg got his goat when the diplomat reacted to his joke about the rape-slay of an Australian missionary during a 1989 prison riot in Davao City. 
“Remember, it all started during the election. I made a comment in narration of an actual event which happened in Davao and which was covered by all media outlets there. The ambassador said something not very nice,” he pointed out. 
“You are not supposed to do that because in an election of another country, you should be careful with your mouth,” he said, addressing Goldberg.
In the final stretch of the campaign, Duterte joked about the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill during a prison riot. He said Hamill looked like an actress and as mayor “he should have been first.” His remarks drew condemnation from several quarters, particularly women’s groups.
The rising death toll in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs has sparked concerns among Western countries, particularly the US and the European Union.
For Duterte, Russel’s statement was an insult. “I said don’t do that to me. Every time they threaten us, including the EU (European Union), they think they are brighter than us,” Duterte said.
“Then they will say ‘be careful, we will put you in prison.’ Son of a w***e. Go ahead.”
Duterte maintained he would never be subservient to the interests of the US or any other foreign country.
“You know before we can move forward, Mr. America, there are things – so many things – the massacre of the Filipinos before. These are historical hurts that would never go away,” he said. He had earlier called the  attention of the US to the massacre by its soldiers of hundreds of Muslims in the early 20th century.
“I am not also a lapdog of any country. Only the Filipinos can treat me as a lapdog. Period. Nothing else.
“Do not make us dogs. Do not. As if I am a dog with a leash and then you throw bread far away that I cannot reach.”
Duterte had previously branded US President Barack Obama a “son of a b***h” and told him to “go to hell.”
Duterte also hit Russel for supposedly being too nervous about his recent state visit to China.
“Now, what did I tell to China? I went there, just being nice,” the President said. “I am just a small person. How can I cause distress? You are nervous because you are guilty.” 
Duterte said his state visit to China last week triggered a lot of speculations.
“Napakabilis ng malisya ng mga gago (These fools were quick to think maliciously). We did not talk about anything in China except to cook siopao and chopsuey,” the President said in jest.
Duterte also scored Goldberg’s statement that the US remains committed to defend the Philippines.
“There will be no wars anymore. Who will wage war with us? China? What will they get? Japan? What defense?  They want to talk about the boogeyman war,” the President said. 
“Stop that s**t. Nobody is interested in wars anymore. And if there is a fight, you fight your wars. Do not include mine.
“Do not dangle me about America. They are already in disarray there. Why should you go there? Ask Filipinos there – doctors, soldiers who are studying, it’s pure bigotry and discrimination there,” he said.

EDCA fate hangs

Before his departure for Japan, Duterte also hinted at dropping the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US in pursuit of his independent foreign policy.
“I said ‘separate,’ separate, yes. You have the EDCA. Well, forget it if I stay here long enough,” the President said.
“One day, that EDCA will… if it is an executive agreement, then…,” he added as he made a sweeping gesture with his hand.
Duterte said he is looking forward to a time when he would no longer see any foreign soldier in the Philippines.
“I do not want to see any military man of any other nation except the Filipino soldiers. That’s what I want. That’s the long and short of it. I want an independent policy wherein I won’t be subservient to anyone,” he added.
EDCA – signed in 2014 – provides US troops access to Philippine military facilities. It also allows American forces to build temporary facilities inside Philippine bases.
Duterte had said he wanted a review of EDCA, noting that the deal did not contain the signature of a Philippine president. Goldberg and then defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin signed EDCA for the US and the Philippines.
In an interview on ANC’s “Headstart,” Goldberg said many foreign investments and trade missions have been put “on hold” due to Duterte’s confusing statements.
“I got more calls in the last three months than I did in two years and nine months before that. People are putting investments on hold. People are not going to go forward with trade delegations,” Goldberg said.
“They are very nervous about all of these and they don’t know what it means and they don’t know what it means for their investments,” he said, referring to Duterte’s conflicting and intimidating remarks.
“It’s those statements that get highlighted and people know that some of it is walked back by Cabinet members saying that the investment climate will remain the same,” Goldberg said.
“But quite frankly it’s the big statements that are the ones that are getting the most notice and it shows a lot of doubt in the business community,” he pointed out.
“You have to find out from them (government) how much they’re calculating the impact on the business community. What I can tell you is I know of several investments here which mean jobs that have been put on hold or are going elsewhere as a result of all of these,” Goldberg said.

Remarks softened

On the eve of his visit to Japan, Duterte softened his remarks about a “separation” from US.
“The alliances are alive,” Duterte told Japanese media in Manila on Monday, Kyodo News reported.
“There should be no worry about changes of alliances. I do not need to have alliances with other nations.” Japan is also a US ally.
Duterte told Japanese media he had been expressing a personal opinion, not speaking for the government, when he mentioned separating from Washington, the Nikkei newspaper said.
He said he only plans to have an “alliance of trade and commerce” with China, Kyodo reported.
The Yomiuri newspaper, however, said Duterte had repeated he wants to halt joint military exercises with the US and end a military cooperation pact seen as crucial to projecting US power in Asia in the face of a fast-rising China.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to strengthen ties with the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries as a counter-balance to Beijing.
“It’s certainly unfortunate and we are worried, but such things will not change Japan’s commitment to the Philippines,” said Narushige Michishita, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and former defense official, referring to Duterte’s comments.
Japan, which is wary of China’s rising influence in the region, signaled it would be looking for clarification from Duterte about his foreign policy plans.
“It is important to have good communication and to listen directly to what Mr. Duterte has in mind,” Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters when asked about the firebrand leader’s comments on ties with Washington.
Abe had worked to improve bilateral relations with Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
Japan provided patrol boats to support the Philippines in its territorial row with Beijing over rival claims to the South China Sea, as it sought backing in its own maritime dispute with China.
Aquino took Beijing to an international tribunal over its extensive claims in the South China Sea – where it has built artificial islands capable of hosting military facilities – and the Philippines won a resounding victory in July.
But Duterte has sought not to use the verdict to anger China, instead worked to improve ties and attract billions of dollars in Chinese loans and investments.
In Davao City, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate commended Duterte for declaring his disdain for the presence of foreign troops in the country, including those coming from Japan.
“This reiteration of no-foreign troops policy in our country is much welcome and should be widely supported,” Zarate said, referring to Duterte’s ruling out discussion on a visiting forces agreement with Japan.
The lawmaker said the President was right about initiating a review of the country’s relation with the US.  
“We hope that this clear pronouncement of the President will lead to the immediate passage of House Resolutions 422 and 31, which call for the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,” Zarate  said.
“This abrogation will give more life, spirit and credence to the constitutional edict of pursuing an independent foreign policy, with the interest of the Filipino people and the nation as our primordial considerations,” he said.
“For the longest time, the Philippines has always been perceived, nay, even treated as a surrogate or vassal state and not as an ally of the US, especially in terms of its foreign policy directions.” – Pia Lee-Brago, Edith Regalado


  1. The Republic of the Philippines does not have a tangible proof to substantiate Article 1-NATIONAL TERRITORY of the Constitution


  2. Indigenous Peoples’ Independent Foreign Policy defines: Republic of the Philippines is a CORPORATION not a SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT


  3. No more De-facto Bilateral Agreement between Philippines and America