In the past week the Philippines, one of the United States’ closest allies in southeast Asia, has distanced itself even farther from the U.S. Recently elected President, Rodrigo Duterté, is taking strides toward independence from the U.S. In a developing story in the Wall Street Journal, we can only watch as the Philippines has started to detach itself from the outside. Duterté has made it a guessing game on why he is choosing to dilute a strong alliance so quickly.
Just this past week Duterté’s previous city of stewardship, Davao, was victim of the bombing committed by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. Though only a group of around 300 soldiers, Abu Sayyaf is closely linked with well-known Al Queda and plays a large factor in Duterte’s actions. Because of the negative conflict between the U.S. and both of these terrorist groups, Duterté now projects that future relations with the U.S. may cause negative reactions from aggressive anti-american groups. In the last week Duterté has also spoken out against President Barrack Obama and America’s political views as a reason for cutting some ties to the U.S.
America would be losing a great friend in a geopolitical charged area of the world. The Philippines’ population is torn on the aggressive tactics that Duterté has taken. As a country that has been heavily dependent on the U.S. for trade and relatively quick development, many are nervous about what might happen if the tie between the U.S. and the Philippines weakens. It may be evidence of a more developed nation than it now proves to be, but if not the Philippines could be lost where it once was guided.
Read the full Wall Street Journal here.