I can only cringe whenever I hear how a certain group in my country pushes the Duterte government it wants to dismantle to act belligerent, goading it to stand toe-to-toe with China concerning its control over the South China Sea. This political party (and its allied interests) is under the impression the United States is right there to quickly jump to their protection (citing a Mutual Defense Treaty the Americans are strangely evasive in committing to honoring when pressed in public forums) in the event the Chinese engage the Philippines in a shooting war over the disputed islands.
Where’s all this confidence coming from? I can only surmise it’s largely due to the historical meddling the Americans (or at least the CIA) did for this particular Philippine faction, helping achieve a couple of abrupt regime changes (1986 and 2001) that worked to the latter’s favor within the last 33 years. (Well, to be fair to the U.S. and the world, they officially referred to the Estrada toppling as “mob rule” and “de facto coup”.) What’s one more time between friends, they probably think to themselves. But recently, I can’t really blame the we-always-want-an-allied-haciendero-at-the-Palace bunch if they’re giddy for another round of intervention for them — considering their collective appetites were whetted by certain U.S. lawmakers actively taking the cudgels for one of the former’s troubled narco-friendly buddies, publicly crying “political persecution” so conveniently, to cover up the alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
We’ll see how far Uncle Sam will go for a few of his powerful Filipino friends especially with China’s huge shadow blanketing and hereby affecting the little details. Will the enemies of the Philippine government press the Americans for another CIA-backed coup to oust the China-friendly Duterte dispensation? But the Americans themselves are currently embroiled in their own internal political hostilities! But if the Philippine oligarchy is lucky, Duterte will be ousted first. Unconstitutionally, of course. That’s the only way for Duterte’s adversaries to succeed. Unless they pray to their gods that Death somehow comes early for their target. Madam Leni would be more than willing to take over.