Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
UK House Prices Momentum Tory Seats Forecast General Election 2019 - 8th Dec 19
Why Labour is Set to Lose Sheffield Seats at General Election 2019 - 8th Dec 19
Gold and Silver Opportunity Here Is As Good As It Gets - 8th Dec 19
High Yield Bond and Transports Signal Gold Buy Signal - 8th Dec 19
Gold & Silver Stocks Belie CoT Caution - 8th Dec 19
Will Labour Government Spending Bankrupt Britain? UK Debt and Deficits - 7th Dec 19
Lib Dem Fake Tory Election Leaflets - Sheffield Hallam General Election 2019 - 7th Dec 19
You Should Be Buying Gold Stocks Now - 6th Dec 19
The End of Apple Has Begun - 6th Dec 19
How Much Crude Oil Do You Unknowingly Eat? - 6th Dec 19
Labour vs Tory Manifesto Voter Bribes Impact on UK General Election Forecast - 6th Dec 19
Gold Price Forecast – Has the Recovery Finished? - 6th Dec 19
Precious Metals Ratio Charts - 6th Dec 19
Climate Emergency vs Labour Tree Felling Councils Reality - Sheffield General Election 2019 - 6th Dec 19
What Fake UK Unemployment Statistics Predict for General Election Result 2019 - 6th Dec 19
What UK CPI, RPI and REAL INFLATION Predict for General Election Result 2019 - 5th Dec 19
Supply Crunch Coming as Silver Miners Scale Back - 5th Dec 19
Gold Will Not Surpass Its 1980 Peak - 5th Dec 19
UK House Prices Most Accurate Predictor of UK General Elections - 2019 - 5th Dec 19
7 Year Cycles Can Be Powerful And Gold Just Started One - 5th Dec 19
Lib Dems Winning Election Leaflets War Against Labour - Sheffield Hallam 2019 - 5th Dec 19
Do you like to venture out? Test yourself and see what we propose for you - 5th Dec 19
Great Ways To Make Money Over Time - 5th Dec 19
Calculating Your Personal Cost If Stock, Bond and House Prices Return To Average - 4th Dec 19
Will Labour Government Plant More Tree's than Council's Like Sheffield Fell? - 4th Dec 19
What the UK Economy GDP Growth Rate Predicts for General Election 2019 - 4th Dec 19
Gold, Silver and Stock Market Big Picture: Seat Belts Tightened - 4th Dec 19
Online Presence: What You Need to Know About What Others Know About You - 4th Dec 19
New Company Tip: How To Turn Prospects into Customers with CRM Tech - 4th Dec 19
About To Relive The 2007 US Housing Market Real Estate Crash Again? - 3rd Dec 19
How Far Will Gold Reach Before the Upcoming Reversal? - 3rd Dec 19
Is The Current Stock Market Rally A True Valuation Rally or Euphoria? - 3rd Dec 19
Why Shale Oil Not Viable at $45WTI Anymore, OPEC Can Dictate Price Again - 3rd Dec 19
Lib Dem Election Dodgy Leaflets - Sheffield Hallam Battle General Election 2019 - 3rd Dec 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Brake Pads Uneven Wear Dash Warning Message at 2mm Mark - 3rd Dec 19
The Rise and Evolution of Bitcoin - 3rd Dec 19
Virtual games and sport, which has one related to the other - 3rd Dec 19
The Narrative About Gold is Changing Again - 2nd Dec 19
Stock Market Liquidity & Volume Diminish – What Next? - 2nd Dec 19
A Complete Guide To Finding The Best CFD Broker - 2nd Dec 19
See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - 2nd Dec 19
Will Lib Dems Win Sheffield Hallam From Labour? General Election 2019 - 2nd Dec 19
Stock Market Where Are We?  - 1st Dec 19
Will Labour's Insane Manifesto Spending Plans Bankrupt Britain? - 1st Dec 19
Labour vs Tory Manifesto Debt Fuelled Voter Bribes Impact on UK General Election - 30th Nov 19
Growing Inequality Unrest Threatens Mining Industry - 30th Nov 19
Conspiracy Theories Are Killing This Nation - 30th Nov 19
How to Clip a Budgies / Parakeets Wings, Cut / Trim Bird's Flight Feathers - 30th Nov 19
Hidden Failure of SIFI Banks - 29th Nov 19
Use the “Ferrari Pattern” to Predictably Make 431% with IPOs - 29th Nov 19
Tax-Loss Selling Drives Down Gold and Silver Junior Stock Prices - 29th Nov 19
We Are on the Brink of the Second Great Depression - 29th Nov 19
How to Spot REAL Amazon Black Friday Bargains and Avoid FAKE Sales - 29th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

UK House prices predicting general election result

The Story of the U.S. Regime Change Plan in the Philippines

Politics / GeoPolitics Jan 16, 2017 - 03:13 PM GMT

By: Dan_Steinbock

Politics As long-needed economic reforms are taking off in the Philippines, regime change plans have been prepared in the US State Department against a democratically-elected president who enjoys very high popular support.      

During the Philippine presidential campaigns in spring 2016, U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg sided visibly with anti-Duterte forces, which led to several high-profile confrontations. After the controversial Ambassador left the Philippines, he wrote a “blueprint to undermine Duterte within 18 months.” Last month, the plan was leaked to The Manila Times, the oldest English-language daily in the Philippines.


It is not the first time Goldberg is associated with regime change efforts. In 2008 President Evo Morales and the Bolivian government gave him three days to leave the country after declaring him persona non grata – following Goldberg’s efforts to fund the opposition leaders, separatists and think-tanks with millions of dollars.

Yet, President Obama rewarded Goldberg by appointing him assistant secretary of state for Intelligence and Research; one of the 16 elements of the US Intelligence Community (IC). Thereafter he was sent to the Philippines, which he left in less than three years after efforts to intervene with the elections.

From Obama’s pivot to Goldberg’s regime change plan

After former President Benigno Aquino III’s designated successor – former interior minister Manuel Roxas, an ex-investment banker and Liberal Party leader who supports neoliberal policies and the U.S. pivot – failed to deliver a victory in the election, Goldberg began to devise his regime change plan. The latter seeks to foster public discontent with Duterte by isolating the Philippines through military assistance and economic “blackmail” relative to other ASEAN member countries.

Goldberg’s "divide and rule" plan seeks to split Philippine congressmen and senators, ASEAN states, and international multilateral organizations. He also advocates strengtheningthe pro-U.S. opposition through aids and grants. The plan calls on Washington to deploy economic, political and military forces against Duterte, “to bring him to his knees and eventually remove him from office.”

According to Daniel Russel, State Department’s assistance secretary for East Asian affairs, the allegations of a blueprint are false. However, Russel’s credibility is overshadowed by the fact that he remains a key figure in the U.S. pivot towards Asia. U.S.-based sources have also tried to discredit the blueprint as coming from China’s Philippine Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, which the executive editor of The Manila Times Dr. Dante Ang calls a “fantasy.”

As Washington sees it, the close ties between the two countries are rooted in the U.S. colonial regime in the Philippines between 1898 and 1946, broad military cooperation, a bilateral security alliance, and common strategic and economic interests. After these ties were cemented with the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), Washington and Manila in March 2016 chose half a dozen sites in the Philippines to host the rotation of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) military units. It was the first time that US military returned to the country since 1992 – after the end of the Marcos era (1965-86), when close bilateral cooperation left many Filipinos infuriated.

However, the alliance was predicated on smooth post-Obama continuity (but Clinton lost the U.S. election), the confirmation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which Trump pledged to bury), and the victory of Aquino’s preferred successor Manuel “Mar” Roxas in the Philippines 2016 election (Roxas came second). After elections, questions about a “Mexico-style” narco state and its cooperation with military leaders during Roxas’ watch as interior minister led Duterte to order the investigation of five former and incumbent police generals led by retired general Marcelo Garbo Jr., a vocal supporter of Roxas, for involvement in illegal drugs.

Following his election triumph, Duterte has initiated a series of economic reforms, which are likely to accelerate growth to 7-7.5%, while recalibrating Manila’s relations away from Washington and toward Beijing and Moscow. In turn, the long-delayed Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea may be completed by mid-year.

Today, the State Department may see the Goldberg’s regime change plan as a way to undermine the outcome of democratic elections - in the name of democracy.

Exploiting political opposition, human rights and NGOs

Goldberg’s regime change plan builds on that stance by exploiting political opposition, human rights, non-governmental organizations, and international media. He advises “restraint in expressing public support for former President Fidel Ramos and Vice President Leni Robredo, and other opposition leaders so as not to alarm the Duterte administration of an impending destabilization or a coup.” Ramos’s ties with the U.S. go back to his training at West Point in 1960. In the 1980s, he was in President Marcos’s inner circle of national police and military. Following the fall of Marcos, he served as President Corazon Aquino’s military chief and subsequently as president. After serving Duterte as early emissary to China, he has criticized the administration’s efforts to weaken U.S. military ties.

In turn, Robredo is a lawyer and social activist, who the Duterte administration sees more loyal to Aquino’s Liberal coalition. Her relationship with the Cabinet fell apart on December 4, 2016, when she was informed by Cabinet Secretary “to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings.” Robredo won vice-presidency with a narrow margin against former senator Ferdinand Marcos. In his electoral protest, Marcos, former President Marcos’s son, alleged that the Liberal Party rigged the elections in favor of Robredo. The case is lingering in courts.

In the public debate, the point person has been Senator Leila de Lima, Aquino’s former Secretary of Justice, who chaired a senate inquiry into the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects. She has been glorified by the BBC as “the woman who dares to defy Philippine president Duterte,” which is also the reason that she was invited to and awarded in the U.S. last month as one of the “leading 100 global thinkers” by the influential Democratic Foreign Policy.

In the Philippines, many see de Lima’s awards as perversions of justice, however. Through the Aquino era, she had a 7-year affair with her lucratively-rewarded driver Ronnie Dayan who served as her money collector for drug protection and campaign financing. During her watch, prison gangs still exerted control over the New Bilibid Prisons, while being coddled by incumbent political leaders, as evidenced by a Discovery Channel documentary. Last September, de Lima was removed from the Senate committee. Oddly enough, her international accolades ensued after the disclosure of the true nature of her activities as international media has ignored the pile of evidence of her abuse of public office and public funds.

The Goldberg plan also relies on NGOs, particularly a handful wealthy U.S. Filipinos linked with the Aquino circles, including billionaire philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis and her sister, former chairwoman of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. Both are Vice President Robredo's supporters who have urged the members of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) "to ask Duterte to resign.”

A more influential source of funds is billionaire George Soros, who Duterte says has bankrolled local NGOs against him as he has been portrayed as a “mass murderer” in the West. International coverage has relied on these NGOs and think-tanks. Yet, in the Aquino III era, complacency with drug lords and narco politicians went hand in hand with the rise of some 3.7 million addicts, while international media was quiet about both. However, when Duterte started war against drugs, which has cost 6,000 lives, international ‘concern’ escalated rapidly.

"America First" via regime change?

Another signal came in mid-December, when the U.S.-based Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) did not renew its $430 million aid grant to the Philippines. While Manila’s criticism about “aid conditions” was reported as “tirades against America," the MCC is hardly independent. It is chaired by State Secretary John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and tens to precondition aid on neoliberal policies.

The MCC debacle is overshadowed by the economic implications of U.S.-Philippine military ties. Until 2010, the country’s military expenditures decreased two decades from 1.6% to 0.8% of GDP. During the Aquino era, which coincides with the U.S. pivot to Asia, the expenditures soared to almost 1.4%, according to SIPRI research - which in dollar terms is over five times the proposed aid package in just one year.

If a Ramos-Robredo scenario were to fail, Golberg plan advises exploiting possible rifts “among Duterte supporters,” or assisting “Robredo-led opposition groups”” coupled with the Catholic Church, business sector and NGOs. Yet, Duterte's support remains very high across all classes nationally, while the ratings of opposition figures have been declining. According to the latest Pulse Asia survey, Duterte approval and trust ratings in the Philippines is 83%. Only 5% of the nation disapproves his actions. As a result, any US-led regime change effort in the Philippines would face firm domestic, regional and international opposition.

Stability in the Philippines is also supported by Beijing. Amid the news about the “ouster plot,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was confident on Duterte’s leadership and would continue to support his policies. In turn, both Trump and Duterte have portrayed each other as good friends.

After January, Trump must reassess Goldberg’s regime-change plan scenarios in light of his own pledges, which are no longer subject to Obama’s pivot, shun US Interventionism abroad but hope to redefine “America First” policies in Asia.

Dr. Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognised expert of the nascent multipolar world. He is the CEO of Difference Group and has served as Research Director at the India, China and America Institute (USA) and visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Centre (Singapore). For more, see www.differencegroup.net   

© 2016 Copyright Dan Steinbock - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules