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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Duterte ≠ Trump

For John, BLUFThis just made life for the next US President more complicated.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Most readers of this blog have not heard of Philippine President Elect Rodrigo Duterte, but once in a while I see him described as the Philippine Trump.  That is a vicious slur.  But, on to the headline from The Cipher Brief, for an article by Ms Erica Evans:

"Duterte in the hot seat"

Here is the lede plus one:
Foul-mouthed strongman, Rodrigo Duterte, declared victory in the Philippines’s presidential election this week after one of his rivals, Grace Poe, conceded to his insurmountable lead.

In the Philippines, his tough-on-crime platform has earned him the nickname “Duterte Harry” – a reference to Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry.”  But Americans know him as “the Filipino Donald Trump” for his populist campaign and disregard for political correctness.

Yes, President Elect Duterte is the one who said that since he was the Mayor (Davao City) he should have been first during the police gang rape of an Australian Missionary.  I am sure he thought he was being funny, but I think it was just a thoughtless and insensitive comment.  Then there is his promise to kill criminals—thousands.

But, beyond that bravado there is the question of foreign policy.  What will be his approach to the problems in the South China Sea and the Chinese appropriation of Philippine territory?  Will we be able to work with President Elect Duterte?  Will we be able to continue to fly missions out of bases in the Philippines?

Regards  —  Cliff

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