Sangil: Digong meets Putin

"I COME here to seek help." These were the first words that came out from the mouth of President Rodrigo Duterte even his bottom has yet to touch the elegant chair in Kremlin reserved for visiting dignitaries. And Russian President Vladimir Putin was looking at him intently and somewhat amused on his visitor from the Philippines who many times compared to him on governance style.

The news dispatches reported that our president offered Putin friendship and wanted to establish a bilateral relations and assured the latter that 'Philippines is no longer under the thumb of the west.' He meant the big brother (USA) can no longer be depended upon.

Further quoting our president, "I have gone out of the ambit of the western influence. Nothing has happened ever since the occupation." (May hugot si Tatay Digong). From the very first time President Duterte called then US President Barack Obama a SOB, the analysts already sensed there will be a new direction in the country's diplomatic relationship with the west.

The analysts will definitely take different views on this new presidential tact. But for many of my cabalens, and those who grew in the times of the Gordons in Olongapo City we can never let go our deep feelings with the Americans. We have lived with the GIs for so long that there is still the lingering feeling between them and us. Despite that, in retrospect, after few years after the GIs hurried departure in June 1991 following the termination of our treaty and whammed their biggest base by the volcanic eruption, prosperity is enjoyed now by the locals.

President Duterte has good reason why the apparent shift. Based on his statements, he believes the United States is domineering and imperialistic. The relationship is one sided. One time, he declared in disgust: "They can come to our country without a visa and a Filipino have to march along a line and get rejected in many occasions for no apparent reason."

Historically, almost all past presidents of our country were subservient and were willing "accomplices" whatever was dictated by the US White House and the Pentagon. The progressives will tell us that America only look and protect their special interests and nothing for their allies . Pittance maybe for an ally.

The Americans were in Clark Air Force Base since 1902 until their departure in 1991. They gave the local residents jobs, because they needed manpower. They constructed the air base roads, but failed to upgrade the adjacent communities. Their PX items competed with local goods and strangled local manufacturing.

Look at Clark now. There were only 22,000 jobs provided by them. Today, according to Clark Development Corporation President Noel Manankil there are more than hundred thousand workers at the Clark Freeport. Local manufacturers are now investing. Earnings at the Freeport and remitted to the national coffers amounts to billions of pesos. We never had it so good.


- In few days schools will be opened, and hopefully all systems go for local police departments.

- Food parks are the new destinations for foodie addicts. Local health departments should monitor.

- My ex-colleague at the Angeles City Council and co-host Maricel "Marang" Morales at Trending Max at PepTV is back in showbiz. Watch her next movie. My Amnesia Girl with Paolo Ballesteros.


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