To put this into perspective, this has been building up for more than a century - ever since the US decided to pursue the Periphery vs Heartland geopolitical stategy, which was most clearly outlined in the Grand Chessboard doctrine: control the naval zones, and suffocate the continental core of Eurasia. And the Philippines are an integral part of this game. It started as early as the 1890s when the US started grabbing the former colonies of the waning Spanish Empire by brutally invading the Philippines (as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba and half a dozen other places). The Filippinos have always resented this, but had been cowed into submission for a century or more. All that has changed is that the Philoppines now have a new master: China. And Duterte has become a Chinese tool. Because China is the new player in this equation, and they're asserting their position ever more boldly.
Want proof? Here it is.
China firm bags land reclamation contract with Philippines
While the US under Obama has been making a coy pivot to Asia, Duterte has done a full 180 and made a real pivot to China. Now he has commissioned a state-owned Chinese infrastructure group to build artificial islands in the South China Sea, which is exactly what Duterte's predecessor had sought to restrict via UN intervention. As hilarious as the fact may be that the Philippines (who until recently used to whine about China grabbing portions of that sea) is now actively seeking China's help to build islands in order to grab land in the sea, the whole thing starts reeking of Castro's Cuba.
I wonder what the US State Department thinks of all this. A coup coming to the Philippines anytime soon perhaps? We already know the drill, right?
Ps. Oh, and while we're bickering around here, China is stepping ever harder into Africa.
Egypt is getting a new capital - courtesy of China