Judging by the spate of attacks on Duterte in the Western press and veiled criticism from some of the Manila papers, it looks like Duterte’s insufficient loyalty to the pivot vision may result in his downfall. Indeed, with the Duterte-US split deepening, his removal may become a strategic imperative for America.
Serial misreporting on Asian affairs is the price the media pays for loyally supporting the US pivot to Asia. It’s also a sign that, after a brief US government dalliance with feisty Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, the skids are probably getting greased for his removal.
As an appetizer, consider “Stairgate” i.e. the kerfuffle over the non-appearance of the fancy stairs that would have allowed President Obama to deplane in suitable imperial fashion from the front of Air Force One in Hangzhou for the G20 meeting.