Rodrigo Duterte, “I want US troops out of the Philippines in 2 years”
Rodrigo Duterte wants US troops out of the Philippines in 2 years, the Philippines President said while addressing the Philippines Economic Forum in Tokyo Wednesday.
“I want, maybe in the next 2 years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops,” President Duterte told the forum.
“I want them out and if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, I will,” he added, The Guardian noted.
The US currently has troops at five different military bases in the Philippines, but Pres. Duterte has been talking about parting ways with the US, a longtime ally and former colonial ruler.
Last week, during a visit to Beijing, Duterte, who has expressed a desire to be “closer to China,” declared a “separation” from the US, before later going back on his words, saying that he didn’t mean a complete separation.
Wednesday, he reiterated his desire to end all joint “war games” with the US. “This will be the last maneuver war games between the United States and the Philippines’ military,” he said.
His desire to severe ties with the US is mainly because he desires for his country to have an “independent foreign policy,” as he believes that the US has exploited the Philippines and interfered with their foreign policy since being an ally.
Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay Jr. has offered an opposite set of comments regarding the matter.
US State Department spokesman Josh Kirby said Tuesday that the US is “not going to react and respond to every bit of rhetoric” Duterte puts out there.
“We’re going to continue to work at this relationship. We’re going to continue to meet our obligations under the defense treaty,” he said.