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Thursday, October 20, 2016

No, I am not breaking away from US – Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has clarified that he is not breaking away from the Philippines’ old ally United States. ”The basic question of the Filipinos – I know what’s in their mind, why is Duterte breaking away from the United States? No, I am not breaking away,” Duterte said in an exclusive interview with China Central Television (CCTV) before he left for a four-day state visit in China.

President Duterte said he just want to be friendly with other countries including Asian neighbor China. ”I just want to be friendly with anybody. You do not constrain, do not restrain me from doing business with China,” he said.
The Filipino leader said he was sincere in seeking stronger alliance with China as well as with Russia, which he might also visit within this year. ”I believe in sincerity and I believe in the basic fundamentals of human sincerity,” Duterte, who said his grandfather is a Chinese, said.
President Duterte said the Philippines should not be too constrained to follow the dictates of other countries.
Late last month, President Duterte said the joint US-Philippines military exercise that was held last October 7 was the last under his term.
The Philippines and the US signed Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951 and a Visiting Forces Agreement in 1998 that paved the way for the holding of annual joint military exercises or ‘Baliktan’ exercises.
President Duterte told the Beijing-based CCTV that the military exercises were ‘useless’ since the US brought their military equipment back to their country after the Baliktan exercises.
”During the military exercises, they allow us to use their equipment, their arms, their weaponry, their armaments but after the games, they get them back from us,” the President said.
”So if there is really an emergency or a sudden – with a flight of a finger – you want to assemble men, their computers, our armaments are simply not compatible. So what’s the use of going into these useless exercise when after all…” he added.
President Duterte said his pragmatic approach in establishing his own foreign policy is “the only way to move forward nowadays.”
Last Sunday, President Duterte left for Brunei for a three-day state visit and then proceeded to Beijing last Tuesday for his four-day state visit.
Next week, President Duterte is scheduled to visit Japan.


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