While Vladimir eyes Rodrigo, the Russian navy is eyeing exercises with the Philippines. They have deployed two ship for a goodwill visit to Manila on Tuesday as Moscow cuddles up to Duterte and expand its defense ties with him now that he has become hostile toward the U.S.
Rear Adm. Eduard Mikhailov (aka 'the Mik'), deputy commander of Russia's Pacific Fleet, led the fleet in the five days of military foreplay, a fleet that included an anti-submarine ship. Russia basically showboated their boats to illustrate to the Philippines what they can offer and thus flip off the USA.
"You can choose . . . to cooperate with the United States of America or to cooperate with Russia," Mikhailov said through an interpreter at the Manila harbor. "But from our side we can help you in every way that you need."
The Rear Admiral smiled his best rear admiral smile and continued: "We are sure that in the future we'll have exercises with you. Maybe, just maneuvering or maybe use of combat systems and so on."
The anti-submarine ship Admiral Katchurnatzoff and sea tanker Boris Buttrollah have a wide range of combat features. Filipinos may tour the ships for a nominal fee, but they must not touch anything. Russian marines will demonstrate their combat capability during the high profile visit.
Currently, the Philippine military is under-equipped and under-funded (which may be the reason they're under-equipped) and have been busting their butts trying to deal with attacks by ransom-seeking Abu Sayyaf militants and allied gunmen who face Mecca when they pray five times a day. These militants have kidnapped crewmen of tugboats and ships from Malaysia and Indonesia in the Sulu Sea (named after a Star Trek character) and outlying waters.
In a show of macho strength and severe mental illness, before coming into his current office, President Duterte literally threw a kidnapper out of a helicopter just to see the splash.
"Russia can help through future combat drills," 'the Mik' said. "We have an experience in fighting these (threats). We will share to you our knowledge on these problems, how to solve piracy and terrorism."
President Duterte plans to visit Russia in April and plans to sign a defense cooperation accord while he and Putin ride horses while shirtless.
Duterte has repeatedly threatened to push our troops out of his country and scale back exercises with us in the future.
This is why he has no true friends.
That and the fact that he often kills the ones he had.