By Erick San Juan
Certain issues with the US verbalized in a not so nice way by President Rody Duterte plus his name calling like kids engaged in petty quarrels has created a backfire through the former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg who is also a victim of PDU30’s not so “flowery words”.
Like what I usually say in my daily radio program that the Duterte administration or anybody who has dealings with the US, they should be careful because speaking from experience, I know their ways and sentiments especially when it comes to character assassination so to speak.
From a source through the Manila Times, an article by Dr. Dante Ang – US ex-envoy plotting Duterte fall stated that source said former US Ambassador Philip Goldberg has outlined a list of “strategies” to undermine President Duterte and called for his eventual ouster. The blueprint gave a timetable of one-and-a-half years.
Quoting Goldberg, it said the “political actors (the opposition) would need all the political weapons in their arsenal to replace the Duterte administration and replace it with something more to the opposition’s liking.” He noted, however, “that (deposing Duterte) would be a challenge for the opposition.”
Analyzing the President’s weakness, Goldberg said that Mr. Duterte “has no real friends” outside of his region for his propensity to mock and ridicule people close to him. He also said that the President’s “views are shaped not by ideology or personal ambitions, but by old-fashioned nationalism where he holds the United States accountable for the Philippines’ current state of poverty and dependency.”
To bring down Duterte, the alleged Goldberg plan calls for stoking public dissatisfaction with the President over unfulfilled election promises, isolating the Philippines from the rest of the Asean by extending military assistance to member countries except the Philippines, and/or through economic “blackmail” that aims to limit trade by some Asean member countries with the Philippines.
Goldberg also reportedly encourages support for the opposition through aids and grants, sowing discontent among the Duterte supporters and cultivating the cleavage between the congressmen and the senators over the Charter Change issue.
In brief, the plan calls on the US government to employ a combination of socio-economic-political-diplomatic moves against Duterte “to bring him to his knees and eventually remove him from office.”
I did my part of reminding the President, time and again of the undercurrents that will translate to something else if not handled properly, locally and in the global front. The writings on the wall are very clear – signs of an impending storm in the offing.
The alleged predictions of former ambassador Goldberg will have a timetable of one-and-a-half years and the “strategies to be employed” are:
Political and economic isolation of the Philippines in the region by engaging the leaders of Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and by “highlighting the basic question of the risk of doing business in the Philippines.”
Enhanced US military relationship with members of the Asean community except the Philippines.
Blackmail neighboring countries so they would turn against Duterte by reducing trade with the Philippines in favor of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Deepen ties with Philippine officials (the opposition), the police/military and leaders in the region who share the US concerns over Duterte.
Track corruption cases and highlight the failures of Duterte.
“Focus on the needs of the people at the grassroots and assist the opposition groups in delivering those failed promises through USAID – such as alleviation of poverty, housing and education – to name a few.”
Utilize the media to expose the truth about Duterte – “his false vision for the Filipino people and his dangerous international relationships with China and Russia.”
Some might ask that exposing these alleged predictions of a former diplomat to the country is a warning and what will the new Trump administration will do, and in the process, who will benefit?
But the plot thickened when a close ally of PRRD, Mocha Uson who’s now a columnist at Philippine Star exposed an ouster plot against the president and even fast tracking the plan. To quote, “There is also a rumor that some people are working to oust Duterte this 1st quarter of 2017. Are we just going to allow that to happen?”
Christmas in the Philippines is never postponed despite the unusual super typhoon but let us all be prepared for the coming storm in the coming new year.