US may attempt ‘regime change’ in Philippines: Ron Paul

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping arrive for a signing ceremony in Beijing on October 20, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The United States might try to topple the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte using the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after his announcement of “separation” from the United States, according to Ron Paul, former US congressman and presidential candidate.

The veteran American politician and political commentator made the remarks in his article, “Obama’s Pivot to Asia Hits a Roadblock in the Philippines”, published on Monday by Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.    

During a visit to China last week, President Duterte announced a "separation from the US,” saying the separation applied to military and economic cooperation between Washington and Manila.

However, a day later, Duterte walked back slightly from his statement, saying he did not mean total “separation” from the United States.

“But,” according to Paul, “the point had been made.”

The commentator criticized US President Barack Obama’s so-called “pivot to Asia,” saying it “has turned out not to mean improved trade and diplomatic ties with the region, but an aggressive stance toward China over, among other issues, the South China Sea.”

“The Philippines has been used as a US cat’s paw in South China Sea dispute and Duterte’s surprise statement signaled that he felt the relationship was too one-sided,” he stated.

Despite the pronouncement of “separation” from Washington by Duterte, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter insisted on Friday that his country intends to keep its alliance commitments to the Philippines.

"We have important alliance commitments which we intend to keep in the Philippines,” Carter said, adding, "Obviously any relationship is one of mutuality and we will continue to discuss that with our Philippine counterparts."

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford Jr. (R) arrived for testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee September 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Paul said President Duterte’s announcement might force the United States to change its “aggressive foreign policy, in Asia and elsewhere,” and start “repairing strained relations with the Philippines and beyond.”

“Or perhaps the next US administration will decide that a CIA ‘regime change’ is in order for the independent-minded Philippine president,” the analyst noted. 

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