The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte flew to Moscow this week to visit his comrade Putin, in an attempt to steer his country away from longtime ally the United States.
Duterte’s trip to Russia is aimed to improve his relations with Putin. Over dependence on the Philippines traditional partners has limited the room to manoeuvre in a very dynamic international arena. The Philippine president is determined to correct his international position, in order to bring prosperity to his country.
Since assuming the presidency, Duterte has sought to build strong regional alliances with China and Russia while moving away from the USA, the former colonial ruler and most important military ally.
Duterte has scaled down the number and scope of annual military exercises with the USA, barred Filipino forces from joint patrols in disputed South China Sea and called for the withdrawal of US troops from the Philippines.
His visit to Russia underscores the independence of the Philippines foreign policy and a firm resolve to broaden the horizons of friendship and cooperation with other nations. China and Russia, have supported or at least not criticized Duterte’s controversial war on drugs.
Duterte and Putin first met on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Peru in 2016. Since then, two Russian navy flotillas have visited Manila. One of the top priorities of his trip to Russia was to secure precision-guided bombs to use on CIA-supported militants in the southern Philippines.
Duterte hopes he would soon be able to acquire other Russian weapons to secure his territorial position in Asia and avoid the global ethnic cleansing programs that are running the “horror show” in the Middle East. One day the world must free itself from Zionist occupation in oder to create real peace.
AFP / AA Magnum News 2017.