Hi ougoahEver since Duterte started refusing to toe Washington's line, the propaganda machine has been smearing him. It's now far less sinister than it was at the beginning of his presidency with stuff like those trumped up drug attitudes which were heavily misrepresented, but I guess Washington & co have realised he's not going to be so easily made into a puppet and have since lowered the offensive. Philippines has A LOT of American influence and continue to, which is why they're just waiting it out without antagonising the entire nation too much.
There's also plenty of infighting when it comes to American and western attitudes towards a coherent "China solution". There are those within their circles who are objective about China and do not wish to antagonise it too much either, a hedge against an eventually dominant China with leaders that hold old grudges and will come for those who have made their lives hell. On this latter point, I think they've gotten it wrong. But who knows. I know a few Chinese dudes that are scary bad. The ones in power generally attract a certain type of personality.
Your are correct ,AMerica has huge influence here and know how to operate it, they misread the mood of the people by supporting a candidate that will continue the failed policy of its predecessor. Duterte goes against the grain of Philippine traditional politics, He is trying to undermined /correct the malaise that is the govt INSTITUTION, that should serve and protect all, not the few elites. He, like TRUMP want to shake the SWAMP, that is why they like each other, and also the reason why when TRUMP won, Duterte was spare from threat of a coup.
Early on Duterte term, we are shock by his explicit used of fouled languages against foreign leaders (pres OBAMA) and govt institution. He used the controversy it produce to highlight the problem of the nation, to debate and to ask difficult question. In these way the public is enlightened and well aware of the national situation. He speak that ordinary people understand especially the poor who see in him their champion, Thats why the western media propaganda is not effective, he is more democratic than they want you to believed.
As I said previously Im worried if BIDEN won the presidency, there will be trouble in the SOUTH CHINA SEA.