This Week in the Philippines October 22, 2016: President Duterte’s Keynote Speech from the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum

Today is Saturday and tomorrow we are heading off to Apo Island to do some snorkeling and SCUBA diving.  Snorkeling for Michell, her sister and friend and SCUBA for me.  Apo Island is a great dive spot and once again, we are going with Harold’s Mansion.  Hopefully, this time the boat engine won’t die and we have to drift for hours before being rescued….  Keep your fingers crossed! 

I usually try to cover three news topics relevant to expatriate life  in my “This Week in the Philippines” Livecasts.  This week, however, I am going to cover one single piece of news:  Some snippets of Philippine President Duterte’s speeches that were recently given during his trade delegation to China.  And as can be expected, President Duterte  didn’t disappoint, especially when it came to his keynote speech to the  Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum.

First off, let me say once again that the purpose of this Livecast is to cover topics that might have an effect on foreigners living in the Philippines.  Whether it has to do with political uncertainty, high-profile crimes or changes in certain laws or regulations, I feel it is my duty to cover these topics because as most of you know, it’s not all puppies and rainbows in the Philippines.  Mostly puppies and rainbows, but not all.  The one thing I will not do is give my personal opinion on matters – foreigners are visitors/guests in the Philippines, and it’s not my place to pass judgement.  Most of my readers are grown adults, and I trust that you all possess the tools necessary to make your own conclusions. 

But enough of that – let’s get to the topic at hand.

As we noted in our last Livecast, President Duterte made a trip to China this week, bringing with him a delegation of 250 Filipino businessmen looking to network with their Chinese business peers.  Early reports are encouraging, and it has been reported that China has already agreed to billions of dollars worth of investments in the Philippines.  Keep in mind, though, that these don’t appear to be grants – the language being used indicates that they are loans.  The hot-topic of the Spratley Islands also got some attention, and both parties agreed to diplomatically work on the situation without the heated language used in the past.

President Duterte gave a few speeches while in China.  This past Thursday – during his keynote speech to the trade forum –  he made a few fairly direct swipes at Americans, casting them as “loud and discourteous” while at the same time describing Filipinos and other Asians as being a very polite people and “fundamentally shy.”  The President then went on to say that Americans are “a little bit loud, sometimes rowdy and they have this volume of their voice and the larynx is not well adjusted to civility.  The problem when you talk to the Westerners, Americans and all – they are a very discourteous people.”

Echoing his earlier reference of a “separation” of ties with the United States, President Duterte went on to say that US mining interests in the Philippines harm the environment and warned Chinese businessmen not to make deals with Americans, saying “If you do that, that is the shortest way of losing your money.”

The President then went on to relate a personal anecdote having to do with “American idiotic arrogance.”  During a stop at Los Angeles International, after a visit to Brazil, President Duterte stated that he had been questioned by a black security officer after he was unable to show a travel authorization document.

“You know this guy brought me to a room to interrogate me. So I said, if you detain me any further and if there’s a plane available going back to the Philippines now, I’d be happy to ride. That was the last time I went to America.

Maybe sometime soon the Americans come to my country for business and all, including pedophilia.

And they come to my country sans a visa, they do not need it, they go there as if they own the place. Maybe thinking that it was only until now. 

And Filipinos who go to America and who have the money, they are not just only berated in the visa control, in the consular office,[inaudible] they are humiliated. And so maybe– Is there American here? If you are planning to go to my country, you get a visa from where you come from. Maybe [applause]… It’s about time. iI you think they’re liberal with the Filipinos, it’s because they have the brains and you get most of the best and the brightest of the Filipinos for your country.”

President Duterte then went on to criticize the United States for atrocities committed by American troops during the early years of American occupation, citing the 1901 Samar massacre where the American General Jacob Smith ordered the killing of any Filipinos over age 10 and the 1909 Bud Dajo massacre in which hundreds of Muslim Moro tribesmen were killed by US forces on the Sulu peninsula in Mindando, among them women and children.  This hasn’t been the first time the Philippines president has recounted those terrible happening from the Philippine-American War. 


 “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn, the better it will please me… The interior of Samar must be made a howling wilderness….”   General Jacob Smith

Billions of dollars pour into the Philippines every year from OFWs in the United States and there is a long history of trust and mutual aid between the two nations.  Despite this, how the Presidents rhetoric will actually pan out remains to be seen, especially when it comes to repercussions falling on foreigners living, working, studying or retiring in the Philippines.  Being an optimist, I hoping that it will all work out.  Being also a realist, however, one has prepare for any eventuality.  Forewarned being forearmed and all that… 

Always have an exit plan.

In the meanwhile, I’ll just keep telling everyone I’m Canadian…..


Click here to read the full text of President Duterte’s Keynote speech in China.   


  1. Hmm, I wonder if Mr Duterte is considering cancelling the automatic 30 day visas that most tourists use when visiting the Philippines. This would be a disaster for the Philippines tourism industry, but no big deal for most expats.
    May be it is time to start moving your money off-shore as part of your exit plans and see if the banks have a quiet word in a few elected officials ears when there is a sudden drop in funds held in Philippines banks.
    Seems like Mr Duterte is saying a lot, but unless the Parliament(?) of elected officials enacts the laws, what he says means nothing unless he can pass presidential decrees like the POTUS can.
    Then again may be Mr Duterte is just saying what he knows the Chinese want to hear to achieve the desired results – He has already got fishing rights for Filipino fishermen back for the Scarborough Shoals.
    I’m an Australian, so any Filipinos who take offence to my humble opinions, please don’t call me an ignorant American (Canadian).

  2. Looks like a potential home run for the Oligarchy that runs the country.

    Another strike out for the average citizens of the RP.

    The Chinese Communist party has lifted 800 million Chinese out of poverty. But, they define poverty as making U.S. $1.90 per DAY or less.

    In Africa, the Chinese have usually hired Chinese companies with Chinese workers for their investment projects.

    Not sure if Duterte is naive, or a politically shrewd future billionaire—One of his buddies is Marco’s grandson.

  3. I had great hopes for the Philippine people when president Duterte was elected. I agreed with his tactics to destroy the drug trade because in order to create and encourage hope and change in a society without hope, you must first destroy the evils that are preventing that Hope from taking seed.

    I applaud President Duterte for reaching out to China and other nations to expand trade and prosperity for his country and his people but when you step on and berate a close friend and long time ally to gain and impress a new friend, that new friend will be thinking how long will it be before I am betrayed and stepped on. The Chinese and the Russians are Communists and manipulators of capitalism. Russia is back to its expansionist games again, they have taken over Crimea and are still subverting the sovereignty of Ukraine and they aligned with Syria and Iran the two largest exporters of terrorism in the world. I am no fan of President Obama and his weakness as a leader, he has done great damage to America and its allies around the world. His criticism of President Duterte’s war on drugs was predictable because political correctness is all he knows. In the United States Obama is releasing drug dealers from prison and encouraging the legalization of marijuana to dumb down the citizens so they can be controlled and taken over.

    I was particularly upset by President Dutarte’s direct insults to the American people, he called them loud mouthed, rude and pedophiles an suggested that maybe Americans should be restricted from visiting the Philippines. He wonders why visas are required to go to America so I will give him an example of why that is necessary. A nurse RN in the Philippines earns an average of $2,500 US dollars, in China a RN earns on average twice that amount about $5,000 US per year and in the United States an RN earns about $60,000 US dollars a year on average. There are many nurses from the Philippines working in the United States and sending millions of dollars back their families which fuels a large part of the Philippine economy. There is a shortage of nurses in China because they have all moved to other countries to earn a much higher wage for their services. Maybe all the nurses in the United States could move to China to earn one tenth of their salary that they earn in the United States. How many nurses would move to the United States if our borders were open and visa free. How many nurses are moving from other countries to the Philippines? Maybe all of the loudmouth American and European tourists should go somewhere else like Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia to to spend their tourist dollars. They will soon be replaced with the Russian mafia and all the fun that will bring to the Philippines. Maybe all the American and European corporations that have set up factories in the Philippines should be given 6 months by their governments to move their factories to India, Vietnam, Thailand or Indonesia. Maybe when the next big typhoon hits, China will send $1.4 Million in aid again when America sent over 20 times that amount and the American people sent more. I have been to the Philippines three times, it is a beautiful country with many warm and friendly people. I always thought people in the Philippines liked Americans but president Dutarte’s anti American statements will not be forgotten by the American people. More importantly to the Philippine people is how international business and people that invest in the Philippines are watching and listening to your presidents rhetoric. If international business and investors loose faith in the Philippine government and feel their investments are at risk they will quickly move their businesses and investments to a safer country with a friendlier government very quickly. President Duterte has only been in office for a few months and he has undertaken the most difficult job in the world as the leader of his country and his people. I pray to god that he will give careful thought to his words and consideration to his decisions so he can fulfill his dream of improving the lives of the Philippine people.

  4. What’s happening now is called KARMA. American foreign policy has been invading countries in the name of democracy, and helping poor countries out for decades with loans to develop their infrastructures. And when they can’t pay the loans, well they seize the assets and move in with military bases. This is well documented by an Ex Economic hitman whistleblowing on how the US government operates.
    These policies have direct consequences on America, and were starting to see them now. I’ve travelled alot, and most people I talked to in foreign countries hate Americans. Keep wearing your Tim Hortons T-shirt Ned,

  5. I am a German living now in Ormoc for a while with my pregnant gf. In my opinion, Duterte is well aware of the ” Chinese Drake” and its consequences resulting of letting those people in the Philippines . Economically it makes sense of course. The chances for the Filipinos are higher than the risks I believe.

  6. I’m in Northern Mindanao today in a smaller city near Butuan. Ive been told twice that the Filipinos love Americans and not sure what their president is saying. Even reading his comments I’m baffled.
    He wants to breakup with the US but not socially? Is that the opposite of a divorce? America keeps the money but the love is still there?

    Just think. In a few weeks Americans can elected our own baffling president that backtracks on everything he says. Yepieeeee!!!

  7. I am very conserned for the people of the Philippines, they are a very kind, friendly people and trust the ones in charge to do the right thing. I plan to retire here with my wife. I pray this all is figured out soon for everyone’s sake.

  8. I have met many people living here in the U.S.A.from the Philippines. My godchild she married into a Phillipino family…I have nothing but good things to say ….I’m aware I may sound shallow but that’s my experience . Sorry to hear that some visitors from the USA may not represent us very well..Ned is certainly a positive individual who takes part in his community our loss is your gain …

  9. There is one big problem with US Defence treaties with the Philippines.

    There is no equivalent to Article 5 in the NATO treaty, where an attack on one member is automatically deemed to be an attack on all members.

    This was invoked by the US in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

    If the Philippines stands up for US interests and is attacked as a result, there is no guarantee the US will ride to the rescue.

    Just something to consider.

  10. Duterte is a mental midget. He has an axe to grid because he was denied a Visa to visit the US years ago. He is nothing more than a fool an utter fool.

  11. DU30 has got many old man’s deseases obvioysly. But only talking foul mouth is ONE thing. Implementing another case completely different. So we must wait and see! PH w/o US very weak.

  12. The back office / call center outsourcing will stop growing soon. If num nuts continues his nonsense companies will start to shrink their footprint in the PI. Outsourcing has been the biggest economic growth engine for the PI. He is screwing his people over some personal grudge. Idiot

  13. Hi Folks, My guess is this president won’t change the feelings most people have about Americans. If anything it will limit his chances of being re-elected. I feel this way because I know the Philippine people after my 3 plus years in the country helping the Trappist monks of Guimaras. Are we loud and strong willed… …oh yes. but we have also been a good friend of the Philippines for too long for one President to erase that. God bless the Philippines and America.

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