Duterte Turns Back On US, Orders Philippines To Buy Weapons From Russia And China

Tyler Durden's picture

While until now the verbal outbursts of the outspoken, "vulgar" Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who last week called president Obama a "son of a whore" (before he  were mostly bark, and no bite, something changed yesterday.

In an abrupt departure from his nation’s longstanding military reliance on the U.S., Duterte said the Philippines would pursue "independent" foreign and military policies separate from US interests in the region, and ordered his defense secretary to seek weapons from suppliers in China and Russia to fight drug traffickers and insurgents. In another dramatic shift, the WSJ notes that the president also said Tuesday that the Philippines would stop patrolling the South China Sea alongside the U.S. Navy, to avoid upsetting Beijing. Instead, he said the nation’s military would focus on combating drugs and terrorism, handing a major diplomatic victory of Beijing and a symbolic loss to the US and its support of non-Chinese terrotorial claims to the South China Sea.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, wearing a pilot's jacket, gestures
on Tuesday with Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana

The Philippines has had close ties with the U.S. for decades, most recently bolstering military cooperation through a 2014 pact. Both Washington and Manila have leveraged their alliance to counter China, whose increasingly assertive actions in support of its maritime claims have stoked unease in the region. But since coming to power on June 30, Mr. Duterte has indicated he wants to distance the Philippines from the U.S., a stance that threatens to alter the precarious strategic balance of power in the Asia-Pac region, especially when it comes to US interests. As we previously reported, in his initial anti-US shift, Duterte said on Monday that he wanted the U.S. military to leave Mindanao, the site of a strategic base set to host American forces.

Mr. Duterte’s statements this week were the latest in a string of developments that have pleased, surprised and horrified his audiences since he took office. His so-called war on drugs and crime has already claimed 2,956 lives, according to police, and his sometimes crude statements have insulted targets as varied as the pope, the United Nations head and U.S. President Barack Obama.

However, it has been his abrupt snubbing of Obama that has provoked the most surprise, indignation, outrage and admiration. Duterte continued his open criticism of American security policies, when in a televised speech on Tuesday before military officers in Manila, he said a ‘paradigm shift’ is coming in the country’s dealing with allies. "We are not cutting our alliances – military (alliances) as well. But certainly, we will follow an independent posture and independent foreign policy,” Duterte said.

The first step for the Philippines would be to opt out of US-led patrols of the South China Sea because the country does “not want trouble,” the president said announcing that his navy “will not join any expedition of patrolling the seas... because I do not want my country to be involved in a hostile act.”

In the second step, Duterte hinted that he was ending Phillipino reliance on US weaponry by at least partially shifting the procurement of arms to Russia and China. Duterte said that the two countries had agreed to give the Philippines a 25-year soft loan to buy military equipment.

About 75% of the Philippines’ arms imports since the 1950s came from the US, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia and China have since that time have been out of the loop. In announcing a definite shift in defense policy, the president said that he wanted to buy arms “where they are cheap and where there are no strings attached and it is transparent.”

“Let’s contend ourselves with the propeller-driven planes but which we can use extensively in counter-insurgency,” Duterte added. “I don’t need jets, F-16 – that’s of no use to us… we don’t intend to fight any country.”

Preempting what would be an angry response from the White House, Duterte's spokesman said that the Philippines would continue to honor agreements with the US such as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). “We’re not turning back on anybody. We are just charting an independent course,” the spokesman said. We doubt that will placate Obama, or his replacement. 

The country’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay also clarified Duterte’s message to US troops, saying: “There is no shift in so far as our policy is concerned with respect to our close friendship with the Americans.”

Naturally, the US responded in the most neutral possible way: State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Washington was aware of Duterte’s comments, but was “not aware of any official communication by the Philippine government to that that effect and to seek that result.” He will be soon.

Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross meanwhile said that US-Philippine relationship “has been a cornerstone of stability for over 70 years.”  “We will continue to consult closely with our Filipino partners to appropriately tailor our assistance to whatever approach the new Administration adopts,” Ross said.

Alas, Ross may also have to consult with the Philippines' new strategic partners too: Russia and China; he will hardly enjoy it.

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ParkAveFlasher's picture

Nice job, Obama!  World at war = Nobel Prize

Looney's picture


The real fun will begin when Duterte drops the claims over the Spratly Islands!   ;-)

Just a reminder… His predecessor filed a claim against China at The Hague ICJ just days prior to his leaving the Office.


PR Guy's picture

More dead drug dealers

Whats not to like?

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

What's the over-under on how long Duterte lives?  I give him 2 years tops.

FireBrander's picture

"The Philippines is currently battling the Abu Sayyaf, and Duterte has ordered the deployment of more than 7,000 troops to the southern island of Jolo, Sulu."


Abu Sayyaf: 

 >As of 2012, the group was estimated to have between 200 and 400 members

>Receives funding from radical Islamic benefactors in the Middle East and South Asia

>In 2000, Abu Sayyaf captured an American Muslim visiting Jolo and demanded that the United States release Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, who were jailed for their involvement in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993

So they have ties to the Trader Center folks...and who funded the Trade Center folks?...yeah, the same people funding Abu Sayyaf...Saudi Arabia.

Abu Sayyaf, another 400 "terrorists" (living on an ISLAND!) the USA is 'unable' to defeat.


It has been, and still clearly is, the policy of the United States and its allies to use terrorism as a geopolitical tool. It serves the duel purpose of serving as a pretext for Western military intervention, as well as a mercenary force with inexhaustible ranks used to fight the West’s enemies where Western armies cannot intervene."




Duterte  get's it...the USA and it's "allies" are the ones that create, fund and direct all of this "terror".

"So, those [American] special forces, they have to go. They have to go. In Mindanao, there are so many American [troops] there. They have to go. We will reorient our foreign policy."

""For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land [Mindanao]. We might as well give it up." - Duterte

eforce's picture

A few MiG-21's is apparently all you need to repel F-35's.

MisterMousePotato's picture

I hear Vickie has a new recipe.

MisterMousePotato's picture

Hey. Anyone here Fillipino-American? Or know any?

Curious how you/they feel about all this.

I like the anecdotal evidence posted at ZeroHedge.

Duc888's picture



I've got two business partners over there, I’m in contact with several times a week and I've been there a few times recently.  The Filipino's biggest problem is that they believe what they see on TV regarding USA.  Most of them have a strong affinity for "Yanks"...   Talking to them about US domestic politics is just pointless because of their TV indoctrination.  They think Obama is popular.  They think Hillary is popular.  I could show them the articles on ZH regarding homeless and tent cities...and they just don't believe it because it's never on their nightly news.

  They voted Duterte in and are A-OK with his drug fighting policies.  They mostly realize, because of the huge influx of Chinese money and businessmen that their future is with the Chinese and not Uncle Sam.  They Chinese are setting up small businesses there at an amazing rate.


We have fucking FACTA so it's a fucking mess to start a legit business there.  Trust me on that one, it's a total clusterfuck.  Once again, US FEDGOV just fucks shit up for it's shitizens all over the world. 

l8apex's picture

Good info, thanks for posting.

Manthong's picture

It’s Tough to Re a Bug… and a Hegemon

“bugs shouldn't be seen as pests, but more as friends.”

Hegemons, too.

Maybe Duterte will get one of those nifty Quantum Communications satellites from China or a cool hypersonic missile from Russia.

froze25's picture

Obama is a disaster even to the MIC.

Duc888's picture



Even though it was not my quote, duterte already stated he has no intention of annexing  / invading his neighbors.

ebear's picture

The Phillipines is a microcosm of the USA:  People as dumb as rocks, politicians corrupt as a Clinton.  Once their ties with the USA are broken they'll find out that the Chinese play a much harder game than their former masters.

Ask any nanny.  They'll tell you.  The only gig worse than working for a chinese family is working for the arabs.  (that's from the horse's mouth BTW.  I dated a few of those girls back in the day)

AriusArmenian's picture

My wife's relatives from the Philippines told me they don't trust the US.

They don't know what the US will do but understand and know what China will do.

Your statement on the Chinese is western prejudice, a supremacist attitude.

tbd108's picture

And the Chinese never murdered 1/3 of a million Philippinos so they could overrun and rule the place (and then install stooges to do the day-to-day looting ... see Spanish-American War). The Chinese may be nasty but they have never committed mass murder there. Also, for you WWII buffs, when the American navy "took back" the Philippines in 1944/45,  to say that they treated Philippine lives lightly is an understandment. My father witnessed the slaughter of a town of 5,000 or so people where the navy thought might have some Japanese there (swept the town from all sides with naval gunfire). Also when the US "took" Manila, they bombarded the town with (again) naval gunfire, slaughtering at least 10,000 locals because there might be some Japanese there. In both cases the Japanese were long gone and minor intelligence gathering would have proved this. Mass murder is the US calling card.

One last note: the official policy of the US in the Philippines was called "Retrospective Consent," The unmitigated hubris of the murdering scum claimed that we may rape your women, murder your young man, loot the place now and permanently by installing local stooges to supervise the show, but in the end, you'll agree that it was for your own good. What assholes.

Another note for you history buffs: Want to know why US Marines carry 45's? When much lighter weight Philippino men came running at them to defend their country against the murdering invaders, the 38's would only slow them down to die later. So the Marines started using 45's which would knock the little bugger backwards so he couldn't knife the SOB.

Offthebeach's picture


Just for simple example..

There were no Marines, it was the Army used the .38 Revolver.
The .45 didn't first come to the US Army until 1911.

tbd108's picture

Straight from wikipedia: "The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.[1] It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It was first used in later stages of the Philippine–American War, and was widely used in World War I,etc." You sir, are the BS meister. Read it again big boy, "US Armed Forces." Last I checked, the Marines are included there.

Regarding the Marines in th e Spanish-American War, I quote from Prologue Magazin, Spring 1998, Vol. 30, No. 1, article titled ""New Glory to Its Already Gallant Record" "The First Marine Battalion in the Spanish-American War"

"On April 16, 1898, five days before war began between the United States and Spain, in preparation for what he believed was an inevitable conflict, Secretary of the Navy John D. Long ordered the commandant of the Marine Corps, Charles Heywood, to organize one battalion of marines for expeditionary duty with the North Atlantic Squadron. By war's end, the First Marine Battalion could boast they had fought in the first land battle in Cuba and had been the first to raise the American flag on the island. They could also claim that of the six marines killed in action in the Spanish-American War, five were from their unit. The battalion yielded one Medal of Honor recipient, and two of the unit's officers would later serve as commandants of the Marine Corps.1 The First Marine Battalion's action in the Caribbean and its favorable press coverage gave the American public and the U.S. Navy a glimpse of the Marine Corps of the future."

Get it together dumb ass.

As a bonus (for which I provide for free) I submit the following (also from wiki):

American units fighting Moro guerrillas during the Philippine–American War using the then-standard Colt M1892 revolver, .38 Long Colt, found it to be unsuitable for the rigors of jungle warfare, particularly in terms of stopping power, as the Moros had high battle morale and often used drugs to inhibit the sensation of pain.[10] The U.S. Army briefly reverted to using the M1873 single-action revolver in .45 Colt caliber, which had been standard during the late 19th century; the heavier bullet was found to be more effective against charging tribesmen.[11] The problems prompted the then–Chief of Ordnance, General William Crozier, to authorize further testing for a new service pistol.[11]

FYI: "American units fighting" includes the Marines. Semper Fi numb nuts.


I know this is getting old but I thought the following would be of some interest:

  • Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Appointed from: Indiana
  • Other Navy award: Distinguished Service Medal

Citation: For extraordinary heroism and eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle at the junction of the Cadacan and Sohoton Rivers, Samar, Philippine Islands, 17 November 1901. Col. Bearss (then Capt.), second in command of the columns upon their uniting ashore in the Sohoton River region, made a surprise attack on the fortified cliffs and completely routed the enemy, killing 30 and capturing and destroying the powder magazine, 40 lantacas (guns), rice, food and cuartels. Due to his courage, intelligence, discrimination and zeal, he successfully led his men up the cliffs by means of bamboo ladders to a height of 200 feet. The cliffs were of soft stone of volcanic origin, in the nature of pumice, and were honeycombed with caves. Tons of rocks were suspended in platforms held in position by vine cables (known as bejuco) in readiness to be precipitated upon people below. After driving the insurgents from their position which was almost impregnable, being covered with numerous trails lined with poison spears, pits, etc., he led his men across the river, scaled the cliffs on the opposite side, and destroyed the camps there. Col. Bearss and the men under his command overcame incredible difficulties and dangers in destroying positions which, according to reports from old prisoners, had taken 3 years to perfect, were held as a final rallying point, and were never before penetrated by white troops. Col. Bearss also rendered distinguished public service in the presence of the enemy at Quinapundan River, Samar, Philippine Islands, on 19 January 1902.

How is it that damn Marine gets the Medal of Honor for fighting in the Philippines when there are no Marines fighting in the Philippines? Those Marines are sure clever!

Not that it makes much difference, but I served with the Marines in the Vietnam War and I have the highest regard for them individually. How the US goes into war (typically to loot, murder, and such) is another matter.

Déjà view's picture

Water Under The Bridge?

 picture of a “water detail,” reportedly taken in May, 1901, in Sual, the Philippines. “It is a terrible torture,” one soldier wrote


IronForge's picture

Taken to School, you have been.

Dugald's picture


Its all about knowing which side your bread is buttered on....

Duc888's picture



The Chinese tend to be very pragmatic.   Having a culture that goes back 6000 years might have something to do with it.


ebear's picture

"Your statement on the Chinese is western prejudice, a supremacist attitude."

Funny you should say that.  I'm currently studying Mandarin and part of that obviously involves talking to Chinese people.  Haven't met anyone yet who thinks the CCP is anything but a bunch of carpet baggers ruining the country, but clearly you get your news elsewhere, right?  You've been there of course.

Frankly, I like ordinary Chinese people.  It's their government I dislike, so when I say "The Chinese" you can read that as "their government" which is a common enough reference that it shouldn't have to be specified. 

Chinese people are guarded in their opinions, and with good reason.  Opinions have consequences. Once you have their confidence though, it's a different story.    Learned a lot from an old girlfriend who defected just after Tiananmen.  She was over here studying chemistry and chose not to go back.  Probably the first real choice in her life.

As a rule, I don't comment on things I know nothing about.  That's why you won't see me writing about Russia or Africa for instance, because I've never been there and don't speak the languages.

Speaking of languages, I highly recommend learning Mandarin. Beyond mere communication you'll gain insight into how Chinese see the world, which is quite different from our view of it.  You'll make a lot of new friends too - it totally floors them when a westerner can actually make themselves understood.   Yeah it's difficult, but that's why you should do it because it buillds mental discipline.

OK, enough proselytizing.  Here's a video of my favorite Chinese singer expressing her sentiments (from the relative security of Taiwan, which still takes courage).  Should be fairly obvious what she's on about.


And another favorite singer, this time with a darker theme.


"This is a huge prison
The most complete program
Obediently give your best
Forget your own expense"

that should give you some idea of what it's about.

Thanks for sticking up for them BTW. They do need that, even if they are the future.

VZ58's picture

Absolutely agree. Just talk to any English as a second language teacher who has worked with the Arabs. Pathetic parents with totally out of control kids.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Truth. The Arab understands one thing and one thing only - brute force. 

Duc888's picture


"Dumb as rocks"?  Perhaps not.  One of my business partners has more business acumen than any other 50 women stacked together......a brilliant mind.  Pretty damned easy on the eyes too.

I have a shit ton of friends who are currently being abused in Dubai... by British companies... you know...they go there with high hopes and the first thing the boss' does is grab their passport.  Bindar Dundat.

ebear's picture

"I have a shit ton of friends who are currently being abused in Dubai..."

You just made my case. 

Obviously there are exceptions, but I've had a lot of dealings with filipinos, and on the whole I find them to be nice people, but terribly naive and easily mislead.  Maybe not dumb as rocks, but definitely sheep-like in their demeanor - except for the nasty ones that prey on them - they're real bastards.   I blame the Catholic Church.  Same fucked up shit as in Latin America, or anywhere else the Spanish made land fall.

MisterMousePotato's picture

" ... terribly naive ... ."

Trying to think of a way to say this without giving offense, but cannot. Accordingly, forgive me, but saying that says more about you than it does about Fillipinos; to wit: "Innocent," "childlike," "unspoiled," and the like would be a better descriptor. Yours is that of a predator or a (hopeless) cynic.

This world could be a better place. America could be (and once was) a better place.

researchfix's picture

Just awesome. This pivot to Asia. Seems like it will end in Hawaii. Until the colour revolution.

Duc888's picture



I'd say Guam is as far as Uncle Sham will get, long term.


Heavy's picture

F-35's?  Those are working now then huh, and cost efficient enough to use on jungle peoples?

Omen IV's picture

I am not Fillipino but.......................Yippy!

Allen_H's picture

I am sure a P41 or a Spitfire could take out a F-35, with a few upgrades.

In order to give the F-35 an advantage, as well as flying ability, it must be a perfect day, not even a breeze in the air, or it might fall out of the sky. Heaven forbid it rains or wind picks up.

FireBrander's picture

"For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land "

WOW! How true and sad is that...

If the EU wants to have "peice in thier land", they need to stop "staying with America". Obama's call for "regime change" in Syria is ripping apart the EU...COMPLETE FAILURE!

..unless of course, that was the plan from the beginning...to destroy the EU...but why would the USA and the Saudi's want that?

Duc888's picture



Duterte CLEARLY sees the bullshit game we're playing in Syria and wants no part of it on his shores.



Hype Alert's picture

No wonder the Admin wants to close the infamous "gun show loophole".

William Foster's picture

You know that the Culinary Institute of America already has something scheming for Mr. Duterte.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Yeah, methinks he's going to get Yanukovich'd.

qomolangma's picture

Reminding us of the Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, as well as Yasser Arafat, Palestine leader.

williambanzai7's picture

Interesting thing is the drugs are apparently being manufactured offshore by Chinese gangs.

robertsgt40's picture

I smell a coup brewing 

Life of Illusion's picture


WOW thats one hell of a G20 and ASEAN result

CheapBastard's picture

It's the result of Barry's incompetent "Fundamentally changing America" policies.


Total failure is Barry's legacy, domestically and internationally, esp the incompetent State Dept where $$$ will buy a place at the table instead of wisdom & experience and excellent negotiating skills.

oncemore's picture

Seems he is going to  experience Soros and CIA color revolution now.

maybe he is going to secure anu other territories at the expense of third country there.

reallyseriousstuffnews's picture

Or watch China decide to involve the Philippines in regional defense and development of the South China Sea. The Philippines then may see no reason for the Hague dictact and decide that more can be accomplished by working alongside China. In the end that scenario would provide the best resolution to all parties, hell they may find that China will allow them to use the islands with their Chinese boats and hoes err airplanes I mean. Or maybe they can continue to be a second rate bitch belonging to the US who will drop them when they are no longer useful.


junction's picture

Doesn't Duterte realize that U.S. hit teams consider foreign leaders who don't toe the Obama line as worse then dope dealers?  So Duterte better start wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet from now on.  And not go out without tall bodyguards. 

cowdiddly's picture

Duterte could just make a small, um , donation to the Clinton Foundation and could be cleared to buy nuclear weapons

adanata's picture


The west is becoming isolated as the dollar dies... although it will probably be the last fiat to bite the dust... Europe will clearly turn to Russia as DC lost the energy game and so much more. The world is weary of endless war. Pretty soon the Barons will have no one to play with... except us of course. That should be fun. How fast can Bayer build those 'bread' ovens?

MisterMousePotato's picture

Hm. Cause and effect? The dollar is dying as The West (viz., America) is becoming isolated?