The Philippines’ Foreign Policy Direction: An Assessment of The First Year of President Duterte

Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr.


President Duterte’s election as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines has put the country into the international media limelight. President Duterte’s use of unconventional language in his public speeches, his infamous drug campaign and his being the second head of the state after President Marcos who tried to infuse the idea of an “independent foreign policy” in the conduct of the country’s foreign relations are just some of the reasons for such media attention. Under Duterte’s administration, the Philippines opened up and became friendly with China despite the latter’s “aggressive militarization” in the South China Sea. Along with China, Duterte has also opened a new vista of military cooperation with Russia. This article examines one-year of President Duterte’s foreign policy – vis-à-vis the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, and its traditional ally, the United States. It aims to discuss the direction of Duterte’s Foreign Policy in his first year of presidency and its possible implications for the Philippines’ relations with ASEAN, and the United States.


ASEAN; China; Geopolitics; Independent Foreign policy; Philippine Foreign Policy; President Duterte; Southeast Asia

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Copyright (c) 2018 Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr.

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Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
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