There he goes again…. President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday dared the United States to declare war against China, which has been increasing its power projection capabilities in the South of China, parts of which is the West Philippine Sea. The President made this speech in Leyte, where he slammed the US for treating the Philippines as a “bait” and for “egging us.” In my book, such a speech was totally unnecessary for the simple reason that the US would never declare war against China. If Pres. Duterte only read US history, he would probably know that America only declares war if and when something “Big” like what happened in Pearl Harbor would force the US to declare war against a nation that attacks it.

Even at the time when World War I was already being waged in Europe, the US did not join the war and opted for neutrality. But in 1917 Germany torpedoed that US Liner Housatonic and sank it and America joined the Great War, which was already on its last year. So much for US history. However Pres. Duterte’s speech has been used by many anti-Duterte people, many are yellowtards who are just waiting for the President to make a mistake. Hence that speech was truly unacceptable and unnecessary.

Other pundits are invoking the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) signed by the US and the Philippines whereby the US would come to the aid of the Philippines if it were attack. But small skirmishes in the Scarborough Shoal or Reed Bank is not a Chinese invasion of the Philippines that would obligate a US military response.

Again, we revisit the Philippines during World War II when the Philippines was still a colony of the US. But when the Japanese invaded the Philippines, America knew that the US military assigned in the Philippines wasn’t in any strength to withstand the Japanese invasion. What happened was Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur to leave the Philippines and establish the US military in Australia. Those where days when the Japanese Imperial Navy was serious in destroying the US.

This is something we do not see happening in China. So while the yellow pundits are having a great time… chastising Pres. Duterte… they should know that war is a very serious thing that so many Netizens in Facebook talk about war as if they are willing to fight that kind of war. So I take the talk of Pres. Duterte as something not really newsworthy.

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One of the things that came up during my discussion with my friends on the political situation in the Philippines was the Philippine STAR headline last week that Presidential Son Paolo Duterte who is now the 3rd District Representative in Davao City was gunning for the speakership. I told my friends that this would never be allowed by Pres. Duterte and true enough last Thursday the President met with Paolo and in no uncertain terms, the President told his son that it was not yet his time for the speakership simply because he was still a neophyte Congressman.

With this report, we learned that last Saturday, Rep. Paolo Duterte said that he is no longer interested in becoming the House speaker. In a press statement, Paolo said he and his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, “both agreed that this will not be the right time for me to be Speaker and I can still help his administration from the House in a different capacity.” Rep. Paolo Duterte added that as president of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, he would support the speakership bid of Rep. Isidro Ungab (Davao City 3rd district) of Hugpong ng Pagbabago – the regional political party formed by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

So now Paolo has joined his sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in supporting Rep. Isidro Ungab. Honestly, while Rep. Ungab has the support of the Duterte children… it doesn’t allow him a better chance to become the next speaker of the House. He maybe known in Davao City but he is not known throughout the rest of the Philippines.

So we are back to the original trio gunning for the speakership of the House with Reps. Martin Romualdez of Leyte, Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig-Pateros and Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque. My choice is Rep. Martin Romualdez simply because he is married to former Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez who was once Bb. Pilipinas International 1996 (Miss International Philippines 1996). Actually she is the granddaughter of the late labor leader and Cebuano veteran and founder of the Associated Labor Unions Atty. Democrito Mendoza.

In short, having a House speaker from the Visayas is a tribute to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte who hails from Mindanao. With the leadership in the government headed by people no longer from Luzon is a huge boon to the development of the Visayas and Mindanao