Duterte announces military, economic split with US
BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dramatically announced his decision to leave the US sphere of influence which has enveloped the Philippines since its independence in 1946.
Speaking at an investment conference in the Great Hall of the People, Mr. Duterte derailed before Filipino and Chinese businessmen the reasons for his dislike of the country’s former colonial master, from perceived economic injustices suffered at the hands of American businessmen to being accosted by a “black” airport official while he was transiting through Los Angeles airport when he was still the mayor of Davao City.
“In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States, both in military … not in the social … both in military [and] economics,” the President said, to the hearty applause of the crowd.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana declined to comment on Mr. Duterte’s pronouncement, although National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. told reporters that the President meant what he said.
The Philippines has a mutual defense treaty with the US which has been in force since 1951 where both countries pledge to come to each other’s defense in the event of an armed attack.
The abrogation of this military treaty requires the action of the Philippine Senate.