IN what seemed like a hopelessly long time, I have watched in shame our country’s presidents beg wealthier countries for aid that come with anti-nationalist strings attached. Lacking in self-respect they wag their tails at these unfair arrangements. Thus, when our neighbors are already standing tall and independent of their former colonizers we have remained a lapdog of ours...
Until President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) stood up to the U.S. as a self-respecting, albeit uncouth, sovereign of an equal nation. I like it that he is trying to cut our apron strings to the U.S. by making friends with Russia and China. The economic war these three superpowers are waging with each other can easily morph into armed warfare and we certainly do not want to be squeezed in between as the exclusive but expendable ally of the U.S.
About the UN and extrajudicial killings (EJK), this is definitely an internal local affair. Nobody is preventing locals from investigating how many of these exist in reality and how many are lodged between the ears of the political opposition. So, why cry to the U.S. and U.N. for help on an issue we should be resolving ourselves?
Who ousted Ferdinand Marcos? We did, not the U.N., not the U.S. that even propped up the savage Marcos regime because as US president Ronald Reagan famously declared “he is our son of a bitch.” So, why pick on Duterte now? Why is the U.N not probing the extrajudicial kills of drug lords? Why is Sison safe and immune from investigation in the Netherlands when he has command responsibility over many more killings by the NPA?
I know why the U.N. is not probing the U.S. air strikes in Syria that are killing more innocent people than the drug war. The U.S. underwrites 22% of the U.N.’s entire operating budget that in 2016 alone amounted to $10 billion. The U.N. knows which side its bread is buttered.
I must admit cringing at PRRD’s hyperbole of feeding U.N. rapporteurs to crocodiles. I cringe even more at his declaration of “immediate withdrawal” from the ICC although he can’t really do this since it needs the approval of Congress. But I like it that he is not taking any shit from powerful countries and international agencies that pick only on small people they can push around.
As a young student in the U.S. whenever I felt my small size was being pushed around, like in a game of basketball, I liked to yell, in jest, at my bigger classmates, “I might be small but I fight dirty.” After a few of these I soon gained the reputation of being the “inscrutable oriental.”
If I know Duterte, I think he is trying to be inscrutable. To get first world bullies with over-inflated egos to think twice before pushing you around, you have to be dead-earnest inscrutable.