The Philippines-US Alliance after Duterte: Strategic Agenda and Directions


About the Webinar

Since 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte’s distrust toward Washington and willingness to accommodate Beijing have led many observers to characterise relations between the Philippines and United States (US) as anemic. Episodes such as Duterte’s threat to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement, current debates about a potential scrapping of the Mutual Defense Treaty, and a growing receptive audience for an “independent foreign policy” make the May 2022 national elections critical for the fate of the Philippine-US alliance. Will the alliance be the first casualty amid intensifying geopolitical competition in the Indo-Pacific? What are the critical challenges for alliance management in such a competitive environment? What are the direct and downstream consequences of current developments to the strategic interests of both countries? This webinar will address these questions by taking stock of the current state of the Philippines-US alliance, and examining the legacies of Duterte’s foreign and security policy, candidate platforms for the 2022 presidential elections, and the prospects of the alliance in the post-Duterte political dispensation.

About the Speakers

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby is Associate Professor in the International Studies Department of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Her areas of specialisation are US-Southeast Asia relations, ASEAN, and regionalism, and is a frequent resource speaker in various Track II fora and roundtables by national government agencies. She was a Visiting Research Fellow under a Japan Foundation grant in the Osaka School of International Public Policy at Osaka University in Japan, as well as a recipient of the inaugural US-ASEAN Fulbright Program. Dr. Misalucha-Willoughby received her PhD from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Julio S. Amador III is Interim President of the Foundation for the National Interest, a new Philippine think-tank that focuses on strategic and security issues. He is also the founder of the FACTS Asia Inc, a non-profit platform for analysis on strategic and international issues from a Philippine perspective. Mr Amador was a civil servant in the Philippine Government for more than a decade and worked on foreign affairs and national security issues. Mr Amador’s most recent publication is the co-authored monograph “Reviewing Philippine-US Bilateral Defense Relations: The Legal, Military, and Diplomacy Perspectives”. He is an active participant in Track 1.5 and Track 2 diplomatic processes on regional security issues.

Gregory B. Poling directs the Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he is also a senior fellow. He is a leading expert on the South China Sea disputes and conducts research on U.S. alliances and partnerships, democratisation and governance in Southeast Asia, and maritime security across the Indo-Pacific. He is the author or co-author of works on the South China Sea and U.S. relations with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia at large. His writings have been featured in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, and the Naval War College Review, among others. Mr Poling received an MA in international affairs from American University and a BA in history and philosophy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.


Mar 25 2022


10:00 am - 11:30 am