The question on whether we actually understand policy pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte came about when I had a conversation with a member of the US Special Operations Forces. He is assigned here in Manila and leads a team of Special Forces who train soldiers of the Philippine Army. In the light of foreign policy debacle arising from a succession of anti-American statements by the Philippine President, the counterpart asked, ”Do you think that because he is from Mindanao, he can’t clearly explain himself?” As some of us continue to glue our eyes and ears on the television for yet another Duterte “blunder”, I came to wonder, What does the President want? Do we really understand the context of what he is saying? How do we make sense of it all?
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