Duterte wants Philippines 'released from U.S. shackles'

The EDCA is an executive agreement that allows more USA troops to hold joint military exercises with their Philippine counterparts and to establish the maritime security initiative for U.S. allies in the region.

MANILA-The Philippine defense chief said Friday that he had suspended participation in any joint patrols with the US of the disputed South China Sea, the first concrete sign of a crack in the military alliance following the election of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He had also said that he wanted over 100 USA troops deployed in the southern region of Mindanao to leave, and that he would scrap the countries' 28 annual joint military exercises.

This mirrors comments from President Rodrigo Duterte, who has also talked of his country having to "break up" with the United States and seek closer ties with both Russian Federation and China as alternatives. Duterte has not only called US President Barack Obama "a son of a whore" - comments he later backtrack from - but also said the American leader can "go to hell" if he wants to withhold weapon sales to Manila in protest of the violent war on drugs.

Philippines Defense Minister said Friday that the country's military "can live" without U.S. aid.

According to usa data, the Philippines is expected to receive a total of $188 million in 2017 while the country received $236 million in United States aid in 2015.

Mr Kirby said: "We think comments like this, whether they are or will be backed up by actual action or not, are really at odds with the closeness of the relationships that we have with the people of the Philippines and which we fully intend to continue".

The Filipino defense chief said that his country meant to buy arms from other countries such as China and Russian Federation.

Duterte also mentioned his plans to open alliances with other countries, including the two known USA rivals.

The Star reported that the United Nations, for its part, has no plans to stop assistance despite a constant drubbing from Duterte, who has said that the country would survive without foreign aid.

Duterte's remark was made in response to mounting U.S. and European Union criticism of his war on drugs, which has led to over 3,600 deaths at the hands of police, drug gangs, and vigilantes, according to the latest figures from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Duterte, who took office in June, has had an uneasy relationship with the US, his country's longtime treaty ally.

Yasay, a former securities regulator and lawyer who practiced in the United States, said the Philippines would be forever grateful to its former colonial ruler for "many significant countless things" over their decades-old alliance, but it remained underdeveloped and weak militarily.

The Philippines also gained geopolitical importance because of its strategic location, according to the study, for the fact that the country lies along a major global commercial shipping route between South China Seas and the Pacific Ocean.

But Duterte, still smarting from Obama reminding him of possible human rights violations in his drug war, reminded the U.S. that their presence in Manila led to the city's destruction during World War II.

Of the more than 3,000 deaths reported under the anti-drug campaign, 1,490 are under investigation as of September 10 with authorities blaming suspected vigilante groups.

A Philippine dispute with China over sovereignty in the South China Sea would not impede defence procurements, he said, adding there had been no discussion of the two countries working together militarily.

"We can live without that", Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana was quoted by various media as saying at a foreign correspondents forum.

This comes after Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Wednesday the legal team of President Rodrigo Duterte is reviewing the Philippines-United States' Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).



Other news