Duterte reiterates he will end military pact wiith US
Manila, Oct 25 (IANS) Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday reiterated his decision to end the military agreement signed with the US in 2014.
“You have the EDCA (Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement), well forget it,” Duterte said in a speech before leaving for a three-day official visit to Japan.
“If I stay here long enough, one day that EDCA will… I look forward to the time when I no longer see any military troops or soldiers in my country, except for Filipino soldiers,” Duterte said.
Duterte’s statement follows the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in Manila, Daniel Russel, on Monday saying the Filipino President was causing consternation in the US and other countries.
“I am not a ‘tuta’ (puppet) of any country,” Duterte said, calling Russel’s comments malicious, and added there is bigotry and discrimination in the US.
Relations between Washington and Manila suffered a setback last week when Duterte, during an official visit to Beijing, announced an economic and military separation from the US.
Since Duterte took office as President in June, the Philippines started distancing itself from the US, one of its greatest allies since 1946 in the aftermath of the World War II.