Controversial Philippine president, Rodrigo Duerte, has declared that he is not a US lapdog before boarding a plane to take him to a three day visit to Japan.
Duerte was quoted in the Philippine newspaper PhilStar. Part of the speech is printed below. I apologize in advance if any of the non-English words offend.
"You count me out. I'm not one of you. I am not also a tuta of any country, mind you. Ang puwede lang magtuta sa akin ang Pilipino, walang iba," Duterte said in a press briefing before leaving for Japan.
He went on to threaten the mutual defense treaty with the US. The Enchanced Defense Cooperations Agreement(EDCH) which has been in effect since 1951. It provides for the mutual defense of either country should it be attacked by a third party.
Duerte was elected president on a wave of concern about growing numbers of drug dealing, paid assassins and pockets of insurrection. He campaigned on a platform of hard justice. Since his election in May 2016, Duerte has been criticized by the UN and human rights groups for allowing and encouraging extrajudicial killings of drug dealers. It has been alleged that street children have also been targeted. He has also justified the killing of journalists if “you are a son of a bitch”.
In response to criticism Duerte has declared that he may remove the Philippines from the UN. He recently made a state visit to China and delivered a fiery speech in which he castigated the US involvement in the Philippines and declared his affection for the PRC as well as expressing interest in exploring close defensive ties with Russia. To that end, he met with Russian PM in September.
This comes as the South China Sea issue continues to ramp up tensions. China has been building and fortifying islands in disputed territory. Currently, at least seven countries have overlapping claims to parts of the sea. It is an important trade route with at least 30% of world trade passing through some part of it. In addition, it has rich fisheries and proven petroleum resources.
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