Musings, Thoughts & Commentaries
After the Spanish and American occupations and the devastation of World War II, the Philippine nation is again on the brink of war. China with its strength could occupy the Philippines at will. Already they have prepared and the United States has started moving a naval fleet between the two nations.
President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, declared in a recent speech that there can be no peace, just war, if the Muslim scholars in Mindanao insist on Moro nationalism and independence in their territory. Mindanao was 100% Muslim when the Spanish arrived. Missionaries came, saw a promised land, typhoon free, as the typhoons passed to the north. Warm climate, good for agriculture.
Why does the United States want yet another war trying to draw boundaries between other nations that pose no threat to the USA? Just let them fight and send aid to the losers. That would cost much less in USA taxpayer dollars and no lives would be lost. But things are different now. Wars could be nuclear.
In his hour-long speech, Duterte stated, “The Philippines has been occupied by foreigners since the island archipelago was ‘discovered’ by Magellan. ‘Discovered?’ asked Duterte, the people knew where they were. We were here! The Spaniards conquered the Philippines. The Dutch conquered Indonesia and the British conquered Malaysia. Do not talk about human rights to me! I am hoping to save a country with 4 million drug addicts!”
Duterte has told the USA, “This is your last War Games in the Philippines,” referring to the practice of military exercises in the Philippines and the South China Sea.)
“Mr. Obama?! Who do you think you are to threaten me? You cannot even handle your own refugee crisis. Get it?! Instead of helping, you just scold. We sacrificed for you. You stayed and we suffered. The Americans were here In Manila and 200,000 Filipinos died because you fought a war here. You will lose the Philippines.”
Duterte credits former President Fidel V. Ramos, flying back and forth from Manila to Davao several times, for “chastising” him if he would refuse to serve his country and run for President. Without the cash support of the rich, Duterte’s campaign was based on mobilizing People Power, as General Ramos had done. Distinguished USMA Grad and former President of the Philippines, Ramos is the power behind the throne.
Duterte’s ideas are the best chance for peace in the Philippines and the best leverage is the agricultural products that can be harvested in the huge fruit basket – Mindanao. What is needed is leadership, education and management. Then core competencies can be leveraged with business strategies integrated into the needs of Southeast Asia.
Tom Anthony is a West Point Graduate and combat veteran who spent his professional civilian career in global business all over the world. He has lived and worked in Austria, Italy, Spain, England, Iraq, Israel, and throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Anthony also lived in Mindanao for seven years.
Copyright 2017 Tom Anthony.