Is Philippine President Duterte playing the United States and China?

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By Raïssa Robles - Here is my think piece that came out today in South China Morning Post (HK)'s This Week in Asia Section. It is based on interviews with our former United Nations Permanent Representative Lauro Baja, our NEW UN Permanent Representative Teodoro Locsin, Jr., a stock market analyst who preferred not to be named and Rodel Rodis whose group in the US has been accused of plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

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You can run this Indonesian government press release on Mary Jane Veloso through “Google translate”

Soal Mary Jane, Presiden Jokowi: Presiden Filipina Duterte Izinkan Dieksekusi Oleh: Humas ; Diposkan pada: 12 Sep 2016 ; 34021 Views Kategori: Berita Presiden Jokowi menjawab pertanyaan wartawan usai melaksanakan Salat Idul Adha di Masjid Agung At Tsauroh, Serang, Banten (12/9). (Foto: Humas/Jay)

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Telling President Widodo to “follow your own laws, I will not interfere” is not fighting for Mary Jane Veloso’s life

By Raïssa Robles - I wonder what President Rodrigo Duterte told the mother of jailed Filipino drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso about her daughter's fate. When Duterte came home, he would not tell the media what he and Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo talked about concerning Mary Jane. Duterte said he first wanted to talk to Mary Jane's mother.

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President Duterte directed his “son of a whore” expletive at Obama, not at anybody else


Analysis by Raïssa Robles - President Rodrigo Duterte is now trying to blame the press for his troublesome mouth, which gained him worldwide notoriety a few days ago. After calling President Barack Obama the “son of a whore”, which his aides claimed he had apologized for, (an apology which didn’t alter Obama’s decision to cancel a personal meeting with the Philippine president) Duterte seems to have decided it’s all the journalists’ fault. He accuses media of “misquoting” him and "spinning" what he said during that fateful press conference in Davao International Airport prior to his departure for Laos.

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Yasay speaks for me and I trust him – President Duterte

Hmmm. I wonder why President Duterte felt the need to go on the air himself to squelch rumors that Yasay was out. - President Rodrigo Duterte's Statement on Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Malacañan Palace, Good afternoon.

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Are you going to Scarborough Shoal?

Or how South China Sea ruling affects Filipino and Chinese fishermen - Exclusive By Dr. Alfredo C. Robles, Jr. - I hope the following will only be the first of several pieces summarizing different aspects of the Award in the Philippines v. China arbitration and explaining their implications. As I was writing this, I could not help but recall the first ever lectures I had in my life on international law and the law of the sea that I attended (in French!) at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) in 1980-81.

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Prof. Joma Sison told me China’s reputation will be damaged if it defies South China Sea court ruling

Yesterday, as part of a reaction story I was asked to write for South China Morning Post, I asked Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria Sison for his reaction to the ruling. Here is what he gave me. I was able to use a small portion of it. So I thought I would post his entire statement. - raissa

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How to read the 501-page tribunal ruling on the South China Sea


My brother-in-law can't help being the professor that he is. This morning, he excitedly told me that he had finished a short piece on how to read the 501-page ruling. Has he read it, I asked him, because I wanted him to write about it. He said he would need to print out everything first in order to examine it page by page. That's how thorough he is. Meanwhile, he'd like to share this guide with his former International Studies students and with anyone who is interested to wade through this formidable ruling, which China has dismissed as "garbage" and mere scraps of paper. I was lucky enough to get Professor Jose Maria Sison's reaction to the ruling. But not those of former President Benigno Aquino III and former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario :( I will post Sison's reaction separately, as well as what Chinese experts are saying about this momentous issue. - raissa

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