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COMMENT: An interesting development in U.S.–Asian relations concerns Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s resentment of the U.S. over a possible covert operation that appears to overlap the decades-long U.S. intelligence involvement with the vast amount of Golden Lily loot secreted in the Philippines and accessed by Japan, American intelligence and right-wing operatives to finance their activities.
An American who called himself Michael Terrence Meiring and made oblique jokes about being with the CIA was seriously injured in an explosion in the Philippines city of Davao, whose mayor at the time was Duterte.
IF Meiring was, in fact, working for the Agency, it may well have been in connection with the decades-old search for and use of the Golden Lily treasure stashed by the Japanese during the closing phase of World War II.
Mr. Duterte has made statements that would make us VERY nervous if we were providing his medical insurance. It will be interesting to see if CIA does some “health alteration” on him.
. . . . In an interview  last year before he announced his candidacy, Mr. Duterte went so far as to acknowledge “hatred” for the United States stemming from the obscure episode, when an American named Michael Terrence Meiring was charged with possession of explosives but managed to flee the Philippines.
Mr. Meiring called himself a treasure hunter and joked about being with the C.I.A., meaning “Christ in Action.” He told the hotel staff not to touch a metal box in his room, apparently with good reason. On May 16, 2002, the box exploded, mangling his legs and damaging the hotel.
But three days later, despite severe injuries and the charges against him, Mr. Meiring vanished from his hospital room. Philippine officials later said that men waving F.B.I. badges had taken him in the dark of night and flown him out of the country without their permission.
Mr. Duterte expressed outrage that the United States would help a criminal suspect leave the country without regard to Philippine law. He also fanned speculation that Mr. Meiring was involved in covert operations conducted by the United States in the Philippines. . . .
. . . . In the statement, according to published reports , the embassy acknowledged that F.B.I. agents went to the Evergreen Hotel to investigate the explosion but “categorically” denied that the agency “had any role in Mr. Meiring’s departure.”
The Meiring affair has long been the subject of conspiracy theories in the Philippines. Much remains unexplained, including why there were explosives in Mr. Meiring’s room and who mounted the operation that helped him escape.
“Why should the U.S. take him out of the country? That’s the puzzle,” said a former high-ranking Philippine intelligence official who declined to be identified because he was not directly involved in the case.
According to news reports, Mr. Meiring had been going to Davao City on the island of Mindanao for many years, usually staying in the same suite at the Evergreen. He had documents allowing him to hunt for treasure — which was believed to have been left by occupying Japanese forces during World War II — and an identity card allowing him to travel in territory held by separatist Islamic rebels. . . .