Police in Manila dispersing a protest by members of the Lumad indigenous group of Mindanao. There is a video on TV news of a police van deliberately running over people that is extremely hard to watch. Here is a Filipino news account. The treatment of minorities in the Philippines by the majority Tagalogs is as sad as the treatment of indigenous peoples anywhere in the world. President Duterte, currently in China, is from Mindanao and supportive of Mindanao’s minorities though he is more supportive of the police, who are the driver of his vigilante campaign against alleged drug dealers that has left 3500 dead. Not sure how he will react here, as the Lumad were protesting the US presence on Mindanao, a key part of Duterte’s platform, but Duterte does not suffer dissent either. I don’t give a shit about human rights, he just told the press in China. One suspects the Chinese now might be a bit hesitant about investing hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastructure improvements if all hell might be breaking loose. Things are getting complicated…..
Was just listening to the now notorious clip of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte’s rant about Obama. First time I’d heard him speak. Very thick accent–I think that is Visayan? I know he is from Davao City in Mindanao. Anyway, he was off on some macho Pinoy riff–the dudes are always so tough, but the women run the show–about how he is the president of a sovereign country and not a colony and I was waiting for him to call Obama a sonofabitch when he slipped into Tagalog and oops, he didn’t say sonofabitch. SOB doesn’t quite capture it. Let’s just say it doesn’t translate well.
Apparently someone on staff immediately afterward reminded President Duterte that when he wants to play John Wayne with the Chinese over the South China Sea, the Philippine Navy’s battle fleet consists of four small frigates a half century old and a number of patrol boats. The Philippine Air Force has a grand total of two jet fighters. Yes, two. As in a pair. The Chinese have more than that.
Putang ina mo, indeed.