Headlines Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Headlines ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Duterte underscores mutual respect in 'separation' from US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ahead of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. China and the Philippines have agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders. Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte has underscored the value of mutual respect for a sovereign nation and the dignity of Filipinos in pushing for an independent foreign policy for the Philippines.

As he arrived Friday night from his state visit to China, Duterte said that his latest pronouncement on separation from the US should not be taken as severing ties with America.

He said there will be no severance of ties with the US.

“It’s not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties, you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that. Why? It’s to the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship. Why? Because there are many Filipinos in the United States… Americans of Filipino ancestry. Why? Because the people of my country are not ready to accept,” he explained.

He added that severing diplomatic ties with the US is not feasible. “Why? Because the Filipinos in the United States will kill me,” he said in jest.

No puppet

Duterte further explained that what he was referring to was a foreign policy that need not dovetail with the foreign policy of America.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

He noted that in the past, the Philippines has always followed the cue from the United States. “We follow. Pasunod-sunod tayo. Hindi ako magsunod (We always follow. I will not follow),” he said.

Mutual respect

Duterte aired his sentiments on why he has been negatively treating the US and pushing for a foreign policy free from the dictates of the US.

He has been lashing out at US officials for criticizing his campaign to rid the Philippines of corruption, bring down the incidence of crime and address problems on illegal drugs.

He even reminded the US about an incident in Davao in 2002 involving American Michael Terrence Meiring which the president termed as an affront to Philippine sovereignty.

“It has not really appeased me at all. Binastos tayo ng Amerika (America disrespected us),” he said.

After an explosion at the Evergreen Hotel on May 16, 2002, Meiring was spirited out of the Philippines, skipping government protocol.

Until now, he said, no US government official has ever shown the results of their full-scale investigation after then ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone promised to do so.

“To this day, parang Batman and Robin mystery ‘yan (it’s like a Batman and Robin mystery),” Duterte told reporters.

“I’ve been waiting for that report but until now, I haven’t so I really did not know what was the mystery about,” he added.

Had it happened to America, they would raise hell for violating their sovereignty, he said.

“They will go to war. Kung tayo ginagawa nila sa atin (they have been doing that to us), there wasn’t even an apology for anything,” he added.

“Is that respect? Mutual respect?” the president asked.

“Tapos sabihin ninyo, (And then you would say,) America lives by the values of what? Whose value is it? Your value? Our values? Because if there is one thing that they did not really want, you know, if there is one thing that the Americans have failed miserably, it is upholding human dignity," he said. 

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Healines Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1