Pretty strong and careless words from UK-based BMI Research that there is a strong possibility of a coup if President Duterte pursues an independent foreign policy. In a wide margin of 6 mn votes, 16.6 mn Filipinos voted for him including military and police men and women which he has given concern and attention to since he became president. This concern and attention to the plight of the men and women in these branches of service is the highest seen since the past four presidents going back to the 1990s. The police were empowered and supported to finally go after the drug menace plaguing the country, and an ongoing peace process is undertaken by the government, the MILF and CPP-NPA. The military prefers and supports peace as the war between them, the MILF and CPP-NPA over the years just brought casualties, widows and orphans.
BMI Research thinks that the US’ reach in Southeast Asia is more important than a Philippine independent foreign policy. The Philippines has been closed to potentially beneficial trade agreements with Russia and is mending ties with China after sour relations from the Aquino administration. To other Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines is still too attached to the US. Other Southeast Asian nations have risen on their own leaving the Philippines in the dust. An independent foreign policy is a fresh direction to progress and does not mean cutting off ties with the US. The US and China are the Philippines’ top two trading partners. Most BPO companies that supported the Philippine economic miracle cater to US clients. There must be balance made in the Philippines’ trade and diplomatic relations with the US and China.
China’s taking of the West Philippine Sea with artificial island chains irritates the Philippines, the US and the rest of Southeast Asia. What would Southeast Asia think of the Philippines if it immediately calls on its big brother when troubles like this arises? It has that option, but the Philippines is doing what it can on its own to resolve this matter first before other avenues can be utilized.
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