- The President clarified his call for US special forces to leave Mindanao
- He said he is not anti-American, but just wants PH to be independent
- He also assured everyone he will honor country’s treaty with other nations
MANILA, Philippines – Despite his friction with America, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public that he will still honor the country’s alliance with the United States.
During his speech at the 48th anniversary of the 250th Philippine Airlift Wing at Villamor Airbase, the president reiterated that his pursuit of an independent foreign policy for the Philippines did not mean to say he is anti-American.
“I am not anti-American. We are not severing our ties, military ties. Nandiyan iyan eh. Who am I to abrogate the treaty? What I am just saying is, we will just follow an independent… kung gusto natin magbili dito, kung libre dito, bakit hindi natin kunin?” GMA News quoted him as saying.
Duterte added that he wants the country to remain friendly with everybody and not just the US.
“As I said earlier, I am not cutting ties with anybody. But as suggested by your commanders, which I also believe in, that we should be everybody’s friend,” he said. “I hope the country also — the economic side of the country will go full blast and we can trade with all but I said, we are not cutting with our alliances, military as well, but certainly, we will follow an independent posture, an independent foreign policy.”
“We are not going to cut our umbilical cord with the countries that we are allied now,” he added.
Earlier, the president said he wants the US special forces to leave Mindanao for their own safety and to decrease tensions in strife-torn areas.
The Philippines has a long-standing mutual defense treaty with the United States.