‘Friendly to all and enemy to none’ foreign policy of Duterte

The “friendly to all and enemy to none” foreign policy of President Rodrigo Duterte is also done by other powerful countries and not unique to the Philippines, according to a political analyst on Thursday.

Dr. Rommel Banloi described in an interview on “Quarantined with Howie Severino” the flip-flopping foreign policy as a “guessing game” in international politics.

“Ang definition natin ng policy na ‘yan is ‘Friendly to all and enemy to none’… Ibig sabihin lang na in international politics there are no permanent friends, there are no permanent enemies, only permanent interest,” he said.

“And what is that permanent interest? That permanent interest is our national interest,” Banlaoi added.

The political analyst also supported Duterte’s policy approach of “strategic ambiguity.”

“I support that kind of policy approach of Duterte kasi in implementing ‘yung tinatawag na ‘strategic ambiguity’ na pati major powers nagda-doubt kung ano talaga ang position natin and we’re able to use the best of both worlds,” he explained.

(I support that kind of policy approach of Duterte because in implementing the so-called ‘strategic ambiguity’ that even the major powers doubt what our position is and we can use the best of both worlds.)

Foreign policy of Duterte

He added that other world leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping also use “friendly to all and enemy to none” approach to international relations.

“All states are flip-flopping in terms of their policy and that’s not unique to the Philippines… The bottomline, ano bang na-achieve ng gobyerno natin in pursuing such kind of policy approaches?” he said.

Baloi said Duterte’s flip-flopping policy gave Filipino fishers the opportunity to return to the disputed South China Sea. It also paved the way for the repair of facilities on Pag-asa Island.

Recently, Duterte also drew flak for allegedly favoring the US instead of the Filipinos when he granted absolute pardon to homicide convict US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton who killed transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014.

However, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said he believes Duterte made the decision to get access to the COVID-19 vaccines being developed by the US.