INDEPENDENT (UK) – “The president of the Philippines has promised to dismantle the nation’s 65-year military alliance with the United States, warning Washington not to treat the nation “like a doormat”.
Rodrigo Duterte has ordered 28 annual military exercises with US forces to be halted and an ongoing US-Philippines amphibious beach landing exercise to be the last in his six-year presidency.
“This year would be the last,” said Mr Duterte, referring to military exercises involving the US in a speech on Friday in southern Davao city.
For as long as I am there, do not treat us like a doormat because you’ll be sorry for it. I will not speak with you. I can always go to China.”
In an attempt to draw back from what Mr Duterte views as too much dependence on the US, 107 American troops involved in operating surveillance drones against Islamic militants will be asked to leave the country once the Philippines acquires its own intelligence-gathering capabilities, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.