Dear Honorable Sir, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte!
The reason why I write you, is because your misconception. Let me first allow you and say to you. Your allowed to say anything between the moon, the stars and the deepest sea-bed of the kingdom I reside in. President Duterte you can call Norway by all names of the book, say anything you want about us or Our Prime Minister, about our traditions and even our strict-rules foreign workers to get visa. Please, talk about it. I have no trouble with it. It is a good thing to be questioned and get criticism from afar, from someone looking in and questioning our possible misgivings. We have loads of mistakes and things that is not working in Norway. Therefore, please address if you may, especially if you ever come to visit here, when you might resume the peace-talks with the red-army in Mindanao. Please, talk about our ways and politics. Feel free, Mr. President!
Now, that I have allowed you to do that, let me look into one of your statements, that Rappler has reported today!
“DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Critics are welcome to say all they want about his governance, but President Rodrigo Duterte said they have to make sure they’re not foreigners in his country. “Every Filipino is entitled to criticize me as a matter of right. Okay sa akin ‘yan (That is fine with me), but certainly not a foreigner, however holy you are. I will not allow [you] to do it in my country,” Duterte said in his speech on Saturday, July 7, at the inauguration of Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City. He added, “After all, we’re not supposed to do it in your country.“” (Basa, 2018)
I don’t why your so bitter, so sour, and don’t know if foreigners ever hurt your pride and your vision. I understand that your battling belittling aid and donor loans, that trigger the Republic and the ways it has maneuver to get the grants and donations, where your state would be monitored and muffled with to get donations from abroad. That I get and that is more damaging, than even development. Where the donations would belittle you and your administration. That I respect and understand. But this here, I don’t get.
Why can they not question the government and say something about it? Why can’t I? I know I am not a citizen of the wonderful island republic of the Philippines. However, if there are misgivings, an outsider might have the balls to say it, while the insider might be afraid to lose the job or even not get hired again. Have you considered that? Did that cross your mind?
If a Filipino might address you wrong or even cross you badly, you might re-appoint someone else or even revoke their licenses? What about that then? You don’t have the same power over the foreign nationals inside the Republic. That also comes with the power of the state and the diplomatic disputes it might create. You got criticism for the sudden detention of the Australian Nun. That was to be expected, no matter she has done or what she hasn’t done. If she has broken the codes of entry or broken codes of law. It would be fine, but if she just was a vocal human being, then it is wrong.
So as I stated, President Duterte. Please say all the wrongs about Europe or Norway, as much as you please. Please call it out and call us ice-cold Vikings, who isn’t treating Filipino foreign workers well. Say it and than the diplomat’s can address it. We can carry it, but we hope you could extend the hand. Let people like me address you and understand why I do it.
It is healthy to have a conversation, to have people who looks with another view and with another perspective, than the narrative and the possible outcome might be better. The different views and the enriched discussion might lead to something fruitful and also give it another direction. Instead of being ignorant.
So, Please Mr. President do it in my country, if your ever has the chance, because it is healthy. We need conversations and perspectives to broaden our insights to life.
Writer of Minbane
Basa, Mick – ‘Duterte says he welcomes criticism, but not from foreigners in PH’ (07.07.2018) link: https://www.rappler.com/nation/206730-duterte-criticism-foreigners-philippines?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1530968818
President Rodrigo Duterte has been under fire lately for his statements on the bible and the way the world was created in the holy scripture. He has also kissed a married South Korean lady on stage, while being on state visit in South Korea. So, there is never a dull moment in the life of Duterte. However, before be goes into to deep into the ignorance of faith and lack of understanding of gender equality from the President. Both deserves scrutiny. From I know, both has been discussed and also tarnished Duterte in Rappler and everywhere else. All of that is deserved. He should show respect to the faith and its origin, as well as other shows respect each other faith. Secondly, you should never misuse power to gain sexual advances, that is just wrong and should be condemned.
However, this piece is not about that, this is about how the man who has insulted bible and the other gender recently. Should be more careful with his words. When your discussing the stupidity of the bible. Maybe, should be more careful with throwing that around. That being said, he cannot be as wise, when all the economic signs of late is dire. There is nothing in the recent days and the collected effort that lights hope for the economic situation. These are all reports, that shows the signs of weaken state and also, needs of a serious boost. If they are planning to revive the Peso and the economy in general.
Philippine Statistic Authority on the 7th June 2018 states that from last year, the wholesale price of the well-milled rice has gone up by 6,63 %, the same commodity in the retailers has also risen in price, that has gone up 5,58 %. This is huge amount of money, when it is concerning the staple food, that most eats to every meal, every single day. That means the people are paying more for the same.
Heydarian writes on foreign investments in the Philippines: “During the first half of 2017, there was a 90% year-on-year drop in new investment pledges from $1.45 billion to $141 million. During Duterte’s first year in office, South Korean investments plunged by 93%, while American investment dropped by 70%. Meanwhile, the ranking of the Philippines in the global corruption index hit a five-year low in 2017. During the first quarter of 2018, new investment pledges dropped by 38% on a year-on year basis, reaching the lowest level since 2010” (Richard Heydarian – ‘More Duterte fallout on the Philippine economy’ 21.06.2018 link: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/More-Duterte-fallout-on-the-Philippine-economy)
Xinhua states: “MANILA, June 19 (Xinhua) — The Philippines is planning to issue about 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of Samurai bonds this year, the country’s finance department said in a statement released in Manila on Tuesday” (…) “”This year, we are also planning to issue around 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of Samurai bonds,” Dominguez told Japanese businessmen. Dominguez did not give other details of the planned yen-denominated bond float in his speech, but he has said earlier that the government will proceed with it by September or October this year” (Xinhua – ‘Philippines plans to issue 1-bln-USD Samurai bond’ 19.06.2018, link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-06/19/c_137265039.htm).
Bilyonaryo states this: “The peso has lost a big chunk or P3.29 over the last six months to 53.28 to $1 last week from 49.99 as of end-2017 making it the weakest currency in the region. Since Duterte’s entry in Malacanang, the peso has dropped 14 percent from 46.86 to $1” (Bilyonaryo – ‘PH peso is Asia’s worst performing currency; even Duterte admits economy in the ‘doldrums’’ 24.06.2018, link: http://bilyonaryo.com.ph/2018/06/24/ph-peso-is-asias-worst-performing-currency-even-duterte-admits-economy-in-the-doldrums/
There is a worry when the prices of rices goes up that, together with a weakened peso. Both are proving that imports of rice will be more expensive, and not only hit the consumers who needs to pay more for the same commodity. Combined with the losing interest of foreign investments, that short-fall is planned to be undermined by government bonds, which is state created short-term debt to cover the deficit created by the lack of investments. All of this is short-term efforts to cover the stop of funds from abroad. Adding more bonds, will also mature more of the previous bonds and add the collected debt of the Republic. This is not sound economics, but more punching more holes in the bag and hoping the rice doesn’t go out to fast.
The ones losing the citizens of Philippines who will pay for the economic progress or lack of thereof, with a weak currency, higher prices on staple food and also more state debt. That is why I want a President who creates all of that, to respect God a little bit more. Because he cannot be so wise, if he is in-charge of the rising prices of rice, devaluing the currency and adding more government debt. While doing so, scaring away foreign investors and trying to take out more debt to cover the shortfall. That is the only thing it looks like. When the government plans to add the same amount as they are losing in investments. This is a way of getting fresh funds and foreign currency into the market, but not generating more revenue directly.
Time for Duterte to get his focus straight, as KPMG states: “For example, even if government expenditures are below program, they will still be at magnitudes well above those in the past. Foreign grants help, but the country does not depend on them to grow today and those that it lost could be replaced with aid from other countries like China and Japan who are willing to give and are already doing so. At worst, these risks, if they occur, could bring GDP growth down to a still lofty six percent or so average in this decade. In summary, the Philippines will remain among the region’s fastest growing economies even if many of these risks were to occur and is on track towards significantly reducing poverty and strengthening the domestic market over the medium-term. The present leadership has smartly placed the stewardship of the country’s economy at the hands of well intentioned and bright managers bent on pursuing rational policies and carrying on from past successes” (IT Report: Philippines – 2018 Investment Guide by KPMG in the Philippines, P: 15, 2018).
So all hope aren’t lost, but the Philippines and the President should be aware of the policies put forward. They are risking the future, today as they are moving forward. The decisions made are vital and crucial for how the prices, inflation, growth and if the currency even will be worth something abroad. Even if some numbers are going up, all of them aren’t and some are more worrying. As the prices on food and others are rising to. So the growth is eaten up before it is felt, while the state isn’t acting within reason.
So please Duterte, look into the measures and into the economic landscape. Let the people of faith be and respect woman. Please start to look at some of the parts thta are not working. Find out the reasons why the Peso is weak, the rice more expensive and the foreign investors are not arriving. Government Bonds isn’t the solution, that is short-term fix, but not a steady economic policy, which would bring stability to the currency, rising inflation and the prices in general. Therefore, the value of the growth is lost in the deep dark hole of inflation, added prices and weak currency. Peace.
What is up with President Rodrigo Duterte?
First it was the Benham Rise, where the Philippines won’t send the army or the field researchers on it. As the Chinese have named the area and several government leaders are we’re at one point saying that the Republic wasn’t sovereign to have control over it. Therefore, they have already shown deep weakness towards Beijing. They have accepted to muffled and tussled with by Xi Jinping and his brigades, as the Philippines are less powerful, than the Chinese.
Secondly, Duterte has again shown that he is this weak, as the war-planes and war-ships are put into the South China Sea, as the administration will not react or make a diplomatic spat with them. Even if this is military movement in the nearby area or anything else. Its like he has lost the power of sovereign nation and become a groveling poor uncle to the grandest family member in Beijing. Rodrigo just have to bow his knees and kiss the ring. Accept to be violated and played with, instead of standing ground on the principals of his state. That is not going to war, but questioning the motive of Beijing. Since, they are putting a lot of force close to its borders. That should worry him as the President of his Republic.
“The Philippines said it is “closely monitoring developments” in the area, but diplomatic actions against China’s intrusive behavior will not be publicized. “It is not our policy to publicize every action taken by the Philippine government whenever there are reported developments taking place in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said. The department noted the improved relations between China and the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte and said it will avoid steps that could undermine the situation. “Moving forward, we are taking a different approach to avoid any drawbacks and challenges,” the department said. Duterte on Saturday said he cannot do anything to oppose China’s militarization of the islands and that he would not risk deploying forces in the South China Sea. However, he said he will eventually bring up the dispute later in his term” (Mikhail Flores – ‘Philippines stops short of condemning China over bombers’ 21.05.2018, Asia Nikkei).
This here shows how careful the Philippines are with their powerful neighbor. They might do something later, they accept to kicked in the guts by the Chinese and trying to keep cool. Usually, Duterte is a hot-head who speak his mind first and begs for forgiveness. Therefore, this is a bit weird coming from him and his administration. He has no trouble getting rid of enemies and people who questioning his powers. However, the Chinese can power-play and mock him even, in his backyard with their military force.
You can wonder if the promised Chinese investments deals and aid agreements are the reasons for this carefulness, as well as the lack of territorial integrity on Benham Rise and now with the militarization of the South China Sea. It is like the Chinese are not as friendly as it seems, more like they want to show their strength and not play on others people’s terms, but their own. If they are toying around with the Philippines and showing whose the boss.
It must hurt the pride of Duterte, who likes to be the strong-man, the big-man, the ones whose words matters and decrees are honored. Now, he is played around by Beijing and has to anticipate his next actions. That is not typical Duterte, not at all.
A humiliation doesn’t fit him or his republic well, it is weird. Peace.
Today, the European Union’s grants through the EU-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance IV, the fourth project and continuation of state aid between them was declined today. The Southern Asian State protested the language and certain parts of agreement, that the EU was proposing. The republic of Philippines has declined it, because they feel the money is tainted and belittling them. That is why the Rodrigo Duterte administration has decided to leave the money on the table and not take it.
This sort of act is something the EU isn’t used too. It is rare, but the State Aid in the Program of TRTA-IV has its bounds and they setting the score for what and how the Philippines can act. It put boundaries and levels to how it can act, as the EU will monitor and check if the state is complying directly with UN Conventions.
That is putting the granted money in a possible questionable state and insult the Asian counterparts, even if they not even signed into UN Conventions that they could be breaking. This is the sort of attack on the sovereign will the Duterte Administration doesn’t want to comply too. That should be respected, since the EU is also right to put strains on their given funds, but then they shouldn’t expect the receiver to just take it anyway.
– EU-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance IV The project contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of SDG Goal 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth” but also promotes progress towards Goal 1 “No Poverty” and Goal 10 “Reduced Inequalities”. It will support the uptake of GSP+ preferential tariffs by Philippine exporters therefore offering incentives to comply with UN Conventions on Human Rights which are a prerequisite before GSP+ can be granted (and maintained). The EU monitors compliance with HR Conventions annually. Besides, the action is expected to support FTA negotiations including on labour rights with a view to align the Philippine legislation and enforcement on international best practices” (EU, P: 4, 2016).
As we sees in the documentation of 2016, is really compelling what the EU expect to do. They are really telling that the incentives are made for them to follow UN Conventions, if not the grants will not be maintained or granted the development, nor the projects in the TRTA-IV. The Philippines are in their right mind, to not take the money that would put strains and also be monitored. So if the Philippines wouldn’t comply to the demands of the grants, they would be withheld. Secondly, that meaning, that if the Philippines took the money. They could possibly loose them if the EU doesn’t think they are following the right UN Convention on any given day or by any evidence of violence. Without taking the context or the reason for it. Because that would play to European narrative of the violence and the Drug War, not the basic understanding or the popularity of the war against the political and drug-infested triad’s, that has been in Philippines. So the Duterte administration has their reasons for doing it, not that its beautiful or a success story, but a needed remedy for a already problematic state of drug triad’s in certain parts of the Republic.
So I was happy, when I heard!
“MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippines formally rejected at least P380 million (6.1 million euros) in aid from the European Union, Ambassador Franz Jessen confirmed Wednesday, January 24. Jessen, head of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, was referring to the EU-Philippine Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) worth 6.1 million euros, or around P383.64 million. Asked if the Philippines has ever formalized the rejection of EU aid, Jessen said: “It was formalized in the sense that we had, for example, the TRTA, a document that actually had to be signed by the end of the year. And that has been returned to us unsigned.” In an interview with reporters after the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay, Jessen said the TRTA “was rejected at the end of the past year.” The Philippines earlier said it is rejecting all forms of aid that come with conditions, such as respecting human rights” (Esmaquel III, 2018).
That the EU Ambassador Jessen feels slapped in face and humiliated is natural in the circumstances. He should know how Duterte defended his nation in 2017. This isn’t news, they are not accepting to be belittled and told by foreign powers how to act and do. Neither does the EU want to be played second fiddle by the United States or Russia. Neither wants the Philippines. TRTA-4 are now suspended or never unleashed, since the EU-Philippines has had this formal agreements and grants for decades. So the previous government of Philippines has accepted the contracts and Memorandum of Understandings in TRTA to TRTA-III. Now the TRTA-4 had different sorts of things to achieve and projects to support. All from Electricity and Power projects in Mindanao to other sustainable initiatives.
But the 6.1M Euros was the price and the loss for the Philippines. But they would have been monitored and checked their grants by EU Monitors. It wasn’t just the use of Human Rights, but the continues checks to be allowed to get the grants. That is the paternal instinct of a more powerful ally. That is what the EU would have done to the Duterte Administration. Rodrigo Duterte didn’t accept this, neither did his closest allies. Clearly, they didn’t want to risk the embarrassment or being questioned for their internal affairs. Especially not a grant of 6 million euros. That would be a cheap trade for what sort of behavior the EU could do and that should be insulting for any statesman. Peace.
European Union (EU) – ‘Annual Action Programmes 2016 Part IV and 2017 Part I in favour of the Asia region to be financed from the general budget of the European Union’ (05.07.2016)
Esmaquel III, Paterno – ‘Philippines formally rejects P380 million in EU aid’ (24.01.2018) link: https://www.rappler.com/nation/194426-philippines-formally-rejects-european-union-aid