Close  
  • share this

Duterte warning on pact with US baffles aides

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 12:56 AM December 19, 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte  AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

President Duterte’s warning to pull the plug on the country’s military pact with the United States in retaliation for an American agency’s decision to withhold a $434-million aid package to the Philippines has befuddled his aides in Manila.

Marie Banaag, presidential communications assistant secretary, maintained the President’s threat on Saturday to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was merely “a warning.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“It wasn’t really something the President said he will immediately revoke,” Banaag said on Sunday over state radio dzRB.

“So we will still have to wait for the next move of the President and, of course, the advisers, what they think about this,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino. “We will wait in the coming days what could happen.”

FEATURED STORIES

After visiting wounded soldiers in Zamboanga City on Saturday, the foul-mouthed President did not mince words as he let out his disgust over the decision of the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) to rescind its five-year funding to the Philippine government’s antipoverty programs.

“We will not go hungry without the American aid,” he said. “We are not that desperate.”

The President also threatened to raze the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City in response to those accusing him of human rights violations.

“You go and file a complaint in the United Nations. I will burn down the United Nations if you want. I will burn it down if I go to America,” he said.

Banaag admitted that aides were clueless over the President’s disclosure that China had offered “50 billion” in financial package, saying it was still unclear if the amount was in peso or US dollar.

She said she would have to ask the Department of Finance if Beijing had indeed offered such financial assistance to the Philippines.

“So there are yet negotiations about the offer as to whether this would be given without conditions because the President is sensitive about these things,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Apparently playing down the effect of the cancelation of the MCC funding, Mr. Duterte claimed China had made available “50 billion” in financial aid, but did not elaborate.

He said Russia had also offered its help when he met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, Peru, last month.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Ana Marie Banaag, campaign against illegal drugs, drug killings, extrajudicial killings, MCC, Millennium Challenge Corp., Rodrigo Duterte, US aid to the Philippines, US-Philippines relations, VFA, Visiting Forces Agreement, war on drugs
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
business

Wide budget gap still manageable

February 23, 2019 05:58 AM

lifestyle

‘Miong’: Looking for the Rep we know and love

February 23, 2019 05:58 AM

newsinfo

Fixing Baguio starts with tree, land survey

February 23, 2019 05:55 AM

business

Stock index inches up but still below 8,000 mark

February 23, 2019 05:52 AM

business

Sugar import liberalization opposed

February 23, 2019 05:49 AM




© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.