I wonder if part of America's turn away from Trump has to do with taking notes about what other countries that have taken a hard turn toward doddering patriarchalism are going through in terms of everything. It is no secret where the real power lies, the only question is why so many willingly dupe themselves.
Why is the Philippines not looking long range, beyond China or the U.S.? Good points by the Duterte administration made about the US arranging to sell China nuclear subs and then provoking them militarily on the open sea, by sailing a carrier with 12 nautical miles of China's manmade island on the Scarborough Shoal. The question is why they are only making these points in the last two months.
We are pretty lucky that Hillary Clinton looks to be getting elected––there may be increased sensitivity to what is going on around the planet, in terms of environmental loss and global warming, particularly in the developing world.
Who knows, maybe the military provocations will even be toned down. If we had Trump, it would be like having a dictator. People would be very uneasy and stress causes things to go seriously awry. Focusing on Gross National Happiness on a global level seems the only solution to me.
The smart thing for Duterte to do is to focus on making the MRT run more efficiently, set in place a Federalist system, and work to bring accountability to mining and heavy industries. If he can accomplish these things, he can basically wait and see which way the winds blow.
As for extrajudicial killings? I would suggest that Duterte focus on disabling the cartels and allow human rights observers in. What does he have to lose? He says he is not afraid of dying.
Duterte needs to just go with the flow on strategic policy for a while. Trading insults makes tensions rise, not soften. Although it may win him a few points with the barkada, the half of the Phil population who did not vote for him could be seriously offended.
A boisterous style gets you so far. At some point you need to realize that exchange rates have to do more with keeping high-tech businesses in place in the Philippines than the CIA's foreign policy agenda.*
The basic issue is Duterte wants to keep prosperity... but his statements on the world stage are not helping. People in foreign counties (investors, you can call them) who only read the headlines like predictability and continuity.
I think it is wise for Duterte wait and see on foreign policy issues, rather than attacking what seem to be entire nations. His domestic policy is what he needs to focus on. There is certainly a lot of corruption and inefficiency to root out.
The bottom line is that government money should be distributed more equitably––what this has to do with incendiary foreign policy statements, I am not sure.
*It is not the CIA that is focusing on the negatives, it is concerned members of Philippine society. People in the U.S. don't really think about Philippine politics that much.