Dealing with a Prickly Ally

By Richard Javad Heydarian

Richard Javad Heydarian is a political science professor at De La Salle University, Philippines, and the author of Asia's New Battlefield: US, China, and the Struggle for the Western Pacific (Zed, London). 

Since becoming President in June, Rodrigo Duterte has used his forceful personality to take Filipino policy in new directions. For Western allies like the U.S., this has led to confusing public statements that have forced them to question the strength of their partnerships. The Cipher Brief spoke with political scientist Richard Heydarian of LaSalle University to learn more about Duterte’s motivations and future plans for Filipino foreign policy.

The Cipher Brief: What is Duterte’s vision for the Philippines’ regional role? Where does he want to take the country?

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