Our friend Thinking Pinoy recently came up with a very good analysis of the current state of the “oust Duterte” efforts of the opposition where he explained why January 20, 2017 plays a very important role in the timetable of Leni Robredo.
According to TP the date is significant because it marks the end of the Obama presidency, and with it Loida (and Leni’s) strong connections to the White House. TP believes, as so do we, that the incoming Trump administration would be less likely to meddle in other country’s affairs.
If TP’s analysis is true, which we have no reason to believe isn’t, then the big question is whether or not there was (or still are) active efforts by the United States government to remove Duterte from office.
The answer comes to us from a document titled “Blueprint to Undermine Duterte,” which was just emailed to me a few hours ago.
The “Blueprint,” which is dated October 4, 2016, reads “PG (Philip Goldberg) drew up a secret list of strategies to undermine Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Although G(oldberg) did not explicitly recommend destabilizing the Philippine government, he underscored the idea that Duterte has no real friends outside of his (region).”
While we are still unable to independently confirm the authorship of the document, the scenarios it describes are so strikingly accurate that it does lend credence to its authenticity.
For example, the blueprint outlines several strategies for removing Duterte, including “strengthen(ing) ties with Philippine officials and military/police leaders who share (US) concerns over Duterte,” using USAID to “assist opposition groups” in reaching the grassroots, and working with the media to highlight Duterte’s “dangerous international relationships” with China and Russia. All of which are happening right now.
According to the author of the document, Goldberg also wanted the United States to “change the political landscape (in the Philippines) by dividing the core leadership of Duterte” and “sow(ing) discontent among party mates.” Counting on the fact that, “Political leaders (in the Philippines) often tend to save their political futures and are not necessarily as concerned with preserving the current government.”
This is something that we already see happening, with some so-called allies like Koko Pimentel sitting in the sidelines while the Liberal Party is waging a war against the President. There are also indications that some factions are maneuvering to get key posts in the administration in order to be in a better position for the next elections.
Aside from creating dissension among the ranks of Duterte’s allies, the “Blueprint” also talks of an alleged plan to pit various Philippine government institutions against each other. This involves “systematic planning and good counter measures” aimed at creating conflict between Malacañan and the Supreme Court, as well as between both Houses of Congress over the proposed Con-Ass.
Most seriously, there were also discussions on how to deliberately weaken the peso in order to damage Duterte. “Weakening the peso would exacerbate the inflation problem, and in the short run, affect the demand for and supply of commodities, and the competitiveness of Philippine agriculture.”
If these options outlined in the “Blueprint” are indeed true, then we can thank the stars for Donald Trump’s win. If not, the Philippines would have been fodder – not just for Leni Robredo’s ambition – but for the foreign policy goals of the United States.
In this increasingly sensitive environment, our approach must be measured. Opposition actors from across the political spectrum look to us for cues, and our influence is much greater than our footprint.
We should be restrained in our public support for Vice President Leni Robredo and other opposition leaders so that the Duterte administration will think that a political coup or destabilization is not a realistic possibility.
The possibility that the United States is indeed working actively to remove Duterte makes it imperative that Filipinos all over the world also start mobilizing to protect our democracy.
This is crucial, especially for Duterte supporters living in America. You are in the front lines of this war, and you can help win it by writing to your congressman right now and telling him how much Filipinos love Duterte. And efforts to remove him must stop right now.
For everyone else, one way to hell is by sharing positive stories on the comments section of the biggest papers in your area. Do not – I repeat DO NOT – argue with the authors/editors. They will simply block you and delete your comments and that’s that. You must convince them with the truth, not with anger. Allow us to be the ones to vent for you, you have to be calm and collected when we face our detractors.
This is by no stretch of the imagination going to be an easy war to fight, but it is a war that we cannot afford to lose.