Those who are not yet ready to give up on their president say that all this anti-US declarations are just his way of playing the China card against the US in an attempt to gain more concessions from the US.
If so, then he appears to have decided to go all-in with what little he has to play with. If the US calls his bluff, then the Philippines stands to lose more than what he may have bargained for. True, China has a sizable war chest to fiddle with but its recent forays into Africa have been less than stellar. Oil in South Sudan that can’t be delivered when the country became a war zone. Uncollected or uncollectible soft loans and a growing anti-Chinese sentiment as locals start to worry about the new neo-colonialist in the block.
Back home, questions are raised about the true state of their banks, loans, a possible housing bubble and sluggish growth. With such concerns, one really wonders how much it can freely give to the Philippines.
And while he plays his hand, one should never lose sight of the fact that the US and China are playing their own hands: one yearning for respect; the other seeking to keep itself relevant. Russia, for all intents and purposes, is out. The world now watches China and the US dance their global dance. One in desperate need of the other. Yin and Yang.
To that the Philippines thinks it is becoming a world player with its bluster and pompous rants that is then explained away as a joke, hyperbole or an unofficial stand made by the highest official in the land. Lost in its own self-importance, bobbing along between powers it cannot control…