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'Duterte's tirades vs US may bode ill for Philippines in the long run'

Former Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. said the US might question at some point its ties with the Philippines, if President Duterte continues with his tirades. AP/Bullit Marquez, Rolex dela Pena
MANILA, Philippines — It may not be good for the Philippines-United States relationship if President Rodrigo Duterte continues with his tirades against the country's long-time ally for the rest of his term, a former Philippine ambassador said.
 
Former Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. said the US might eventually question its ties with the Philippines.
 
"If it keeps going on, yes, because, as I said, at some point, the US will say: 'Well are we really friends or are we not friends?' If they continue to feel that they are being mistreated or the president is saying very negative things about the Americans then, somehow, there will be an effect," he said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart."
 
Cuisia said the relationship between countries is important. He cited as an example one meeting he and the US-Philippine Society had with the Duterte in Davao where the president said that the country needs helicopters with night vision and fast patrol boats to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf.
 
Cuisia, who was still the country's ambassador to the US at that time, said he was able to set up an appointment with the Pentagon and US President Barack Obama's national security adviser to present the request when he returned to Washington D.C. 
 
"You know if you don't have good relations, you just can't do that. It takes time even to present a request to the government."
 
Cuisia said the US has provided substantial assistance to the Philippines. 
 

Expletives not part of diplomatic language

Duterte has made strong comments against the US and Obama after criticisms on his anti-drug campaign. 
 
He has insisted that the country is a sovereign nation that should not be lectured upon by another foreign head of state.
 
He reiterated this stance in a speech Tuesday during the 48th anniversary of the Air Force's 250th Presidential Airlift Wing in Villamor Airbase.
 
"We are not cutting our alliances. (We are not cutting) military (alliances) as well. But, certainly, we will follow an independent posture and independent foreign policy."
 
 
Cuisia agreed that the Philippines should call the attention of the US if it is talking down to the country but added that the expletives were uncalled for.
 
"[Expletives] certainly is not part of diplomatic language," he said.
 
"Even when you're partners, even between husband and wife, what do you do when you have differences? You talk about it. You don't get upset and say 'Why are you lecturing to me,'" Cuisia added.
 
He said Duterte must keep in my mind that as president every word he says is very important.
 
 
"Normally, when the president speaks, especially on substantive issues, it is considered policy. After all, as I said, the president is the chief architect of foreign policy," he said. — Levi A. So
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