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Here’s what Rodrigo Duterte can do to avoid a CIA coup against his Presidency

Shocking claims have surfaced from the Philippine far-left saying that the CIA plans to use members of the Philippine armed forces to overthrow the elected President Rodrigo Duterte. Here is what Duterte can do to avoid such a disaster.

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Philippines road towards independence has been long and fraught.

Since 1591, what is now the Republic of The Philippines was a Spanish colony. Spain’s long decline as a maritime empire was deeply shaken during the Spanish-American War of 1898. The war was short and decisive in America’s favour and was America’s first taste at global rather than continental colonialism. In addition to receiving Cuba from Spain, America also took possession of the Philippines.

During the war with Spain, independence minded Filipino republicans were made promises of freedom by Washington. This of course did not pan out and a bloody war ensued between the American military and Filipino republicans.

The war lasted over three years longer than the one with Spain, a crucial reminder that large modern military forces often have easier victories over large but outmoded forces than when up against amateur forces defending their homes. This was a lesson America would have to re-learn over half a century later in Vietnam.

America eventually won the war, although insurgents continued to resist colonial rule. Formal colonial rule ended in 1946, but America continued to call the shots. The Philippines was greatly dependant on America and in return, the US steadfastly supported the strongman President Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the country from 1965-1986.

During the controversial reign of Marcos, the CIA maintained close links to the leadership of Philippines. The legacy of Marcos is one of law and order, something which in all societies is necessary, but many of the measures Marcos took to suppress legitimate, legal opposition and the wider post-colonial development of Philippines were deeply unpopular among Filipinos and with very good reason. No country wants their president propped up by the CIA, but this is essentially what the CIA did in respect of Marcos.

Indeed, much evidence as subsequently surfaced that it was losing the support of the CIA and the White House that led to the US allowing Macros to fall in 1986–a popular uprising with CIA approval but for all the wrong reasons. The CIA felt that Marcos in his own way, was becoming too independent.

Subsequent years, particularly those under the Aquino dynasty have left the internal potential of the country unfulfilled while crime has increased vis-a-vis the  Marcos years. All the while, dependence on the US has remained as much under leadership that was too weak as it was under Marcos who was strong but in many of the wrong ways.

In 2016, the real potential for change came: that change came in the form of Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte promised tough law and order, especially in the area of drugs and related criminality that has plagued Philippine society for decades. He promised a fairer distribution of wealth, he promised to reach accords with Islamic and Communist insurgents with pragmatism and he promised to conduct a foreign policy that was independent of the United States in every sense.

Duterte’s popularity in Philippines is emblematic of the fact that he represents a change from the pro-US strongman leadership of Marcos and also the corrupt, ineffective, overly pro-American leadership of most of Marcos’ successors. To the conspiracy theorists who say that Duterte is un-democratic, they simply do not realise that Duterte remains incredibly popular and furthermore they do not understand how he differs from the authoritarianism of Marcos nor the out of touch elitist politics of the Aquinos and their political allies.

Against this background it is not difficult to see why some are claiming the CIA seeks to oust Duterte.

Sputnik reports,

“The Philippines National Democratic Front has alleged the US Central Intelligence Agency and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been plotting to kill exiled Communist Party founder Jose Maria Sison, and overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte. If true, it won’t be the first time the US has sought to meddle in the country’s affairs.

The NDF claim military officers, who are assets of the CIA and close to AFP chief General Eduardo Ano, were engaged in a “two-stage” plot. The first step would see the dispatch of a hit team to Sison’s Netherlands home, comprised of elite AFP forces disguised as disaffected dropouts from the New People’s Army, to take out the dissident.

The second would result in the overthrow Duterte, ostensibly for violating human rights in his ongoing “War on Drugs and Criminality” in the country, but in reality for veering towards Russia and China in international affairs.

Armed Forces chiefs have however dismissed the “preposterous” allegations, claiming they are “propaganda” aimed at gaining “sympathy” for Duterte and engendering “anti-US” sentiment in the country.

Whatever the truth of the matter, it’s no secret relations between the Philippines and US have soured significantly under Duterte’s rule”.

Beyond the fact that it is no secret that there have been tensions between Washington and Manila during Duterte’s time in office, what’s more is that Duterte has all the characteristics of the kind of leader that the CIA would hate. He is popular, he is populist in the positive sense of the word, he is in favour of making his country’s wealth more evenly distributed in the hands of the people rather than oligarchs and elites and his foreign policy is based on the pragmatic understanding that the future of South East Asia lies in understanding that China is the super-power of the region and not the United States. Furthermore he wants to stamp out the corruption that is a swamp in which foreign meddling can breed.

The CIA is powerful, but if the people of Philippines unite to support their President, this would send a message. Additionally, Duterte must not be timid in purging the military of treasonous elements.

While I am personally not a supporter of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Erdogan realised that the prevalence of coups against Turkish leaders in the 20th century was based on a strong, self-governing military that took it upon itself to enforce its version of Turkish Constitutionalism against any leader that they felt was out of line.

In some cases the Turkish Army’s decision to remove leaders was popular and at other times it was not. But Erdogan realised that he represented the biggest shift in Turkish politics since the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 and as such he took measures to purge the army of would be conspirators.

The reason that the 2016 Turkish coup attempt failed was because it was led by low level officers and soldiers. The high level military officers that in years past would have likely tried to overthrow Erdogan, had been largely replaced by Erdogan loyalists. Duterte must furthermore capitalise on the fact that among ordinary soldiers, he is highly popular. They are the future generations of officers that Philippines requires.

Although the Philippine Constitution does not allow for the kind of Presidential powers of today’s Turkey, Duterte like Erodgan and indeed Ataturk (the founder of modern Turkey) before him, must realise that an army loyal to the President rather than its own pro-American ideas, is the only thing that can preserve not only Duterte’s popular Presidency, but also the future independence of Philippines as a nation.

For decades, Turkey’s army was loyal to Ataturk’s ideas even after the man’s death and the same may well be the case in respect of Erdogan, assuming he can settle the many crises he himself created. The fact that Duterte is more popular in Philippines than Erdogan is in Turkey is a further sign that in terms of organising a disciplined, nationalist (rather than pro-US), he could follow the Erdogan model in these respects.

President Rodrigo Duterte must realise that he is an epoch making leader. He must take the steps necessary to make sure that no one can violently undo the progress he makes and intends to keep making.

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From McCain to Brennan, Deep State soft coup against Trump picks up steam (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 59.

Alex Christoforou

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After Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki, the Deep State smells blood, and is moving quickly to depose of US President Donald Trump.

Government officials and mainstream media puppets from left and right are condemning the US President over his press conference with Vladimir Putin.

Leading the charge are the usual Deep State, suspects, starting with John McCain and ending with the man many believe is behind the entire Trump-Russia collusion hoax, former Obama CIA boss John Brennan.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou examine the soft coup aimed at removing US President Trump by the November 2018 midterms. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via The Independent

Conservative John McCain, who is facing a rare and terminal brain cancer, unleashed a damning statement against Mr Trump’s conference with Mr Putin, describing it as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory”.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin,” he said.

“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout — as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realise his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbours, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.”

The conservative senator’s comments arrived after the US president declined to name Russia as the adversary behind coordinated attacks on the 2016 presidential election.

While discussing whether he thought Russia was behind hacks against the 2016 election — as the US intelligence community has determined —the president said: “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

“Dan Coats [the US Director of National Intelligence] said its Russia. President Putin says its not Russia,” said Mr Trump. “I don’t know why it would be…..I have confidence in both parties. President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

That set off a wave of condemnations from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“President Trump’s press conference with Putin was an embarrassing spectacle,” Bernie Sanders wrote in a tweet. “Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin’s denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.”

Jeff Flake, one of the only frequent Republican critics of Mr Trump in Congress, said the conference was “shameful” in a statement he posted across social media.

“I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression,” he said. “This is shameful.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan released a statement calling for Mr Trump’s impeachment and describing his comments as “treasonous”.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanours,'” Mr Brennan wrote on Twitter. “It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

Elizabeth Warren also slammed the president for failing to hold Mr Putin accountable, writing on Twitter: “Russia interfered in our elections & attacked our democracy. Putin must be held accountable – not rewarded.”

“Disgraceful,” she concluded.

However, Mr Trump’s typical roster of critics weren’t the only legislators rebuking his bizarre denials of US intelligence. Lindsey Graham also criticised Mr Trump’s performance, adding that his denial of US intelligence will “be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves”.

“Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections,” he said.

The Republican senator added a suggestion to Mr Trump: review the soccer ball Mr Putin gave to him as a gift for “listening devices” and “never allow it in the White House.”

Thomas Pickering, a regarded statesman and the former US ambassador to Russia, told MSNBC that he was in utter disbelief after the press conference was held on Monday.

“It’s a breathtaking denial of something that clearly is so obviously true,” he said. ”it represents the epitome of President Trump’s effort at self-promotion over the notion of defending the national interest of the United States.”

Mark Warner, a Virginia senator, also suggested Mr Trump committed a clear violation of his responsibilities as president.

Mr Trump committed “a breach of his duty to defend our country against its adversaries,” Mr Warner said. ”If the President cannot defend the United States and its interests in public, how can we trust him to stand up for our country in private?”

Meanwhile the latest Deep State leak, via the NYT, claims that US President Trump was told by Obama holdovers that Putin was involved in cyberattacks during the 2016 election. US intelligence told Trump this information days before the inauguration.

Via The Gateway Pundit

The same liberal hacks who illegally leaked this information want Americans to trust them as they continue to destroy this duly elected president.

President Trump on Wednesday told CBS anchor Jeff Glor that he has no confidence in the tainted intelligence by far left hacks Clapper, Brennan and Comey.

And, once again, the timing of this leak is not an accident.

Liberals are outraged that President Trump refused to chest bump Putin in Helsinki.

The deep state leaked this information to pile on the Republican president.

The New York Times reported…

Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

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Russia ranks HIGHER than Switzerland in these areas of doing business

Some curious things happened with several businesspeople who attended World Cup events in Russia.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

One of them was a distinctly renewed interest in doing business inside the country, and another was the realization to what extent perceptions have been tainted by media and political rhetoric directed against any real or imagined nastiness attributed to Russia these days.

These past few weeks have been invaluable, at the very least by affording a clear picture of Russia through which almost all anxiety-ridden preconceptions were illuminated and dispelled. More disturbing was the fact that the several businesspeople I was dealing with were furious. They were livid for being played for fools, and felt victimized by the dismally untrue picture painted about Russia and Russians in their home countries, both by their own politicians and the press.

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Most felt that they have been personally sanctioned by their own countries, betrayed through lack of clear unbiased information enabling them to participate and profit from Russia opportunities these past three growth years in spite of “sanctions”.

The door to doing good business in Russia has been and is open, and has been opening wider year after year. That is not just “highly likely”, but fact. Consistently improving structures, means and methods to conduct business in Russia sustainably, transparently and profitably are now part of the country’s DNA. It is a process, which has been worked on in the west for more than a century, and one, which Russia has only started these past 18 years.

True, there are sanctions, counter-sanctions, and regulations governing them that must be studied carefully. However if you are not a bank or doing business with those persons deemed worthy of being blacklisted by some countries “sanctions list”, in reality there are no obstacles that cannot be positively addressed and legally overcome despite the choir of political nay-sayers.

READ MORE: Russia just dumped $80 BILLION in US debt

The days of quickly turning over Russia opportunities into short-term cash are rapidly fading, they are a throwback to the 1990’s. Today the major and open opportunities are in the areas for Foreign Direct Investments. The nature of FDI is long term to make regularly recurring sustainable returns on investment.

Long term, Russia always was and increasingly confirms that it is a vibrant and attractive market. There is a significant consumer market with spending power, a well-educated workforce, a wealth of resources and the list goes on. The economic obstacles encountered have largely been imposed from without, and not from the dynamics and energies of the Russian economy itself.

Eventually sanctions will end, although the timeline is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile business continues, and any long-term engagement within Russia by establishing a working presence will yield both short and long-term investment rewards. These will only be amplified when the sanctions regimes are removed. In any event, these aspects are long-term investment decisions and one of the criteria in any risk assessment.

For some added perspective, Russia is ranked by the Financial Times as the No.2 country in Europe in terms of capital investments into Europe. It has a 2017 market share of 9% (US$ 15.9 billion) and includes 203 business projects. This is 2% higher than 2016 and better that 2014/2015 when sanctions were imposed.

Another item of perspective is the Country Risk Premium. All investors consider this when calculating the scope for long-term return on investments. What may surprise some is that Russia is no longer ranked as a very high-risk country. For comparisons sake: The risk premium for Germany is zero (no extra risk), the risk premium for Italy is 2.19%, and for Russia, it is 2.54%. When compared to politically popular investment destinations like Ukraine the risk premium is 10.4%  – food for thought. Bottom line is that the risks of investing in Russia are a smidge higher than investing in Italy.

Russia is ranked 35 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The ranking of Russia improved to 35 in 2017 from 40 in 2016 and from 124 in 2010. It may also surprise some to learn that as concerns protecting the rights of minority investors, paying taxes, registering property and some other aspects of the World Bank comparisons, Russia comes out better than Switzerland (See: Rankings).

From operational standpoints, establishing an invested presence in Russia does not mean one must adopt Russian managerial methods or practices. The advantages for established foreign companies is that their management culture is readily applied and absorbed by a smart and willing workforce, enabling a seamless integration given the right training and tools.

The trend towards the ultimate globalization of business despite trade wars, tariffs, sanctions and counter-sanctions is clear. The internet of the planet, the blockchain and speed of information exchange makes it so whether we wish it or not. Personally, I hope that political globalization remains stillborn as geopolitics has a historical mandate to tinker with and play havoc with international trade.

Russia occupies a key strategic position between Europe and Asia. The “west” (US/Europe) have long had at times rather turbulent relationships with China. At the same time the Chinese are quite active investors in both the US and Europe, and western companies are often struggling to understand how to deal with China.

The answer to this conundrum is Russia: this is where East and West will ultimately come together with Russia playing a pivotal role in the relations between the west and China. At the end of the day, and taking the strategic long-term economic view, is what both Chinese and Western companies are investing in when they open their activities in Russia.

If long-term commitment and investment in Russia were simply a matter of transferring funds then I would not be bothering with this opinion article. Without a doubt, there are structural issues with investing in Russia. A still evolving and sometimes unclear rule of law, difficulties obtaining finance for investments directed towards Russia, the unique language and culture of business in the country. Nevertheless, companies that have an understanding and vision of global strategy will manage with these issues and have the means to mitigate them.

Money and other invested resources do not and should not play politics; any investment case when evaluated on objective financial criteria will reveal its fit, or lack of, within a company’s global strategic business objectives. The objective criteria for Russia over any long term horizon is both convincing and strong. This has been repeated by all of the businesspeople I have met with these past few weeks. Without doubt we shall see some new companies coming into the Russian market and objectively exploring the gains their playing fair business football here will yield.

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Media meltdown hits stupid levels as Trump and Putin hold first summit (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 58.

Alex Christoforou

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It was, and still remains a media meltdown of epic proportions as that dastardly ‘traitor’ US President Donald Trump decided to meet with that ‘thug’ Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Of course these are the simplistic and moronic epitaphs that are now universally being thrown around on everything from Morning Joe to Fox and Friends.

Mainstream media shills, and even intelligent alternative news political commentators, are all towing the same line, “thug” and “traitor”, while no one has given much thought to the policy and geo-political realities that have brought these two leaders together in Helsinki.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou provide some real news analysis of the historic Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, without the stupid ‘thug’ and ‘traitor’ monikers carelessly being thrown around by the tools that occupy much of the mainstream media. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

And if you though that one summit between Putin and Trump was more than enough to send the media into code level red meltdown, POTUS Trump is now hinting (maybe trolling) at a second Putin summit.

Via Zerohedge

And cue another ‘meltdown’ in 3…2…1…

While arguments continue over whether the Helsinki Summit was a success (end of Cold War 2.0) or not (most treasonous president ever), President Trump is convinced “The Summit was a great success,” and hints that there will be a second summit soon, where they will address: “stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more.”

However, we suspect what will ‘trigger’ the liberal media to melt down is his use of the Stalin-esque term “enemy of the people” to describe the Fake News Media once again…

 

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