The 1987 Constitution revolves around four themes – respect for human rights and civil liberties, democratic governance and the prevention of another dictatorship, the promotion of social justice, and the upholding of national sovereignty. It is no perfect document but it is the country’s highest law binding all citizens, especially the President.
With respect to an independent foreign policy, the provisions cover not only our territorial and maritime claims or our diplomatic relations but, even more substantially, protectionist policies on the economy and national patrimony.
Ironically, previous governments have violated these provisions by maintaining the country’s neocolonial relationship with the US and pursuing an export-oriented, import-dependent, foreign-investment led, service-oriented economy for the last three decades.
Duterte’s distancing himself from the US and EU is a good start. But the real challenge is for him to follow the Constitution to the letter by abandoning the much travelled road of previous presidents and treading the path of independent diplomacy and economic sovereignty. – Rappler.com
The author is a former representative of Bayan Muna in the House of Representatives.