Rodrigo Duterte reversing words: Philippines don't want "separation" from the US

It's the only way.

"... Any official action to end relations with the USA on military or economic matters may generate more public and institutional scrutiny domestically than the administration has so far experienced".

Reuters picMANILA, Oct 23 ― Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope today that fishermen would be able to return to the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in the next few days.

After the shock caused by his comments last week, Duterte tried to limit the damage over the weekend.

"Let me clarify. The president did not talk about separation", Philippine Trade Minister Ramon Lopez told CNN, noting that the comments were merely meant to shore up support in their corner of the world and improve Asian relations. Some wrongly thought the president would sever formal diplomatic ties with the United States.

The U.S. has made no effort to mask its frustration.

Some in the Philippine government - including, apparently, President Rodrigo Duterte himself - indicated Friday that burning their bridge with the United States might not be the best way to go.

He said Filipinos in the United States "would kill him" if he cuts the Philippines' diplomatic ties with the global superpower.

Duterte travels to Japan on Tuesday.

He has described Barack Obama as the "son of whore" and told the European Union "fuck you" in response to criticism of his deadly crack down on drugs that has left thousands of people dead, some of them allegedly in targeted assassinations.

U.S. -Philippine ties run deep.

"If it's the policy of the Philippines to honoring its Constitution and makes its own decision on the basis of autonomy, independence and self reliance, then that's consistent with the way that the USA and the Philippines have partnered as allies". But Duterte's antagonism with the USA - which has already unsettled some investors - could jeopardize that. Americans of Filipino ancestry. Why?

Duterte has made many stands against the United States during his time in office, turning vulgar at times. "Obviously any relationship is one of mutuality and we will continue to discuss that with our Philippine counterparts", he told reporters before landing in Turkey.

During the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum on Thursday, October 20, Duterte said he would now be relying on the Chinese officials and businessmen. "Problem is - personally, of course, it doesn't matter much - but I am a president of a country and we have these splendid relations with America.I can not gamble an answer". We discussed how to help each other. He had said he would use the summit with Xi to discuss the recent worldwide tribunal ruling against Beijing's claims in the South China Sea.

An important critic of Duterte has been former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, who brought the successful arbitration case against China over disputes in the South China Sea.

At the end of Duterte's trip to China, both countries announced in a joint statement several trade and business deals and closer cooperation on a range of concerns.



Other news