With the musical chair of democracy spinning out of control; Rodrigo Duterte has replaced Aquino in Philippine, and Hillary Clinton likely to hold off Donald Trump in U.S. in November. Obama will be in Hangchow for the G20 meeting and continue to spin his pivot to Pacific, with Philippine the center piece of his strategy with the return of U.S. bases there. Yet Duterte will be a headache for Hillary after her inauguration. She may have hold off fascist challenge by Trump with the support of the ruling elites, but she will have her hands full in implementing a humane immigration policy, challenging 1% with tax policy and minimum wages, revitalizing the economy by infrastructure spending, and dealing with recalcitrant Congress. Despite all the negative press about her emails and Clinton Foundation, which I think are trivial non issues spun by her opponents, I have always like her and wish her well. The only disagreement being her vote on Iraq War which I gave her a pass as she can’t realistically vote no being a senator from New York after 9/11.
Being a champion of human rights (Women rights are human rights), she can’t possibly ignore the action of the death squads with count now probably way over 2,000. For what is more human right than the right to life? With the annual human rights report by State department due out in April, Hillary can’t help but antagonize Duterte and jeopardize the bases.
It’s instructive to see the non response of the Western media whom championed human rights and criticize China whenever some human right lawyers got jailed, and silence on Philippine after the initial flurry of social media going viral on the wife holding her dead husband killed by the death squad, the double standard and limits on freedom of speech speak volumes. For China dealing with Duterte will be delicate but straight forward. China has a non-interference policy on internal affairs of other country. It will be up to Philippine to deal with the question of Duterte. As for the arbitration award China does not recognize its validity, and Duterte has said he’s not stupid enough to provoke militarily, and if he waves the paper China will just ignore him. China will be happy to maintain status quo by continuing to build up her islands or negotiate if other side is realistic. For U.S. Duterte is like ” Our Man in Havana” as described by Graham Greene, a liability best forgotten.