Duterte wants US troops out in two years


TOKYO: President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he wants US troops out of the Philippines in the next two years and is willing to scrap defense pacts with longtime ally Washington if necessary.

The comments follow a series of anti-American tirades by the firebrand leader, who has repeatedly attacked the US while cozying up to Beijing, upending his nation’s foreign policy.

“I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops,” Duterte told the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo, in a clear reference to US forces.

“I want them out and if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, I will,” he added.

The US, which once operated sprawling bases in the country, now has a small number of Special Forces on the southern island of Mindanao to aid in counter-terrorism operations.

Duterte has previously said he wants US troops out of Mindanao because their presence stokes tensions on the island where Islamic militants have waged a decades-long separatist insurgency.

Duterte’s aides frequently attempt to walk back his controversial comments, and Wednesday was no exception.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., asked at a subsequent news conference to clarify the remarks, said Duterte did not mean US troops would be ousted, stressing that “our national interests still continue to converge.”

The acid-tongued leader arrived in Tokyo Tuesday on his first visit to Japan since taking office June 30, looking to persuade executives his country was “open for business,” after overturning Manila’s traditional diplomatic alliances.

The 71-year-old has also slammed Washington for questioning his violent crime crackdown, which has claimed some 3,700 lives and attracted widespread international criticism.

Duterte has insulted President Barack Obama, announcing a “separation” from the US during a visit to Beijing last week.

Although he quickly clarified his comments, saying that “separation” did not mean he would “sever” ties, he reiterated his calls on Wednesday for an end to 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 of an event hosted in recent weeks by the Philippines.

Although his Japanese hosts depend on the US for security, Tokyo has so far not responded to Duterte’s diatribes, while Washington has taken a calm approach.

“We’re going to take the long view,” State department spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.
“We’re not going to react and respond to every bit of rhetoric,” he added.

‘Decision to junk EDCA needs to be studied’
Reacting to the President’s earlier statement threatening to junk the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US that allows the rotational presence of American troops in the Philippines, former senators Francisco Tatad and Juan Ponce Enrile as well as Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez called for a thorough study.

Enrile said Duterte should have a backup plan once he decides to kick out US troops, even as he acknowledged that the Philippines had the prerogative to abrogate its treaties with other countries.

“In the game of nations, when you enter into a treaty, that treaty is not permanent. Any country can denounce its commitment under a treaty based on the agreement of the parties,” Enrile said in the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Malate, Manila on Wednesday.

Golez agreed with Enrile that a security umbrella was important as long as China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea.

“I have no doubt that that would continue as a threat to us, they (China) continue to grab whatever they can grab if we show any sign of weakness,” he said.

Tatad noted that the EDCA has a termination clause, and the Philippines should give the US a one-year notice before ending the agreement.

“We have been governed by headlines. The President said the Americans will leave but the Americans are still there. If you talk to the defense and security people there are no actual orders,” said Tatad.


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  1. Filipinos talk about being used but they are the most crooked people the way they leverage friendship for aid.

  2. I have a theory.

    DU30’s platforms, against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality, presented to us during the May 2016 election were accepted and supported by a plurality, not majority, of 16m Filipino voters. Countless citizens backed DU30 in the hope that he would be a unifying president but turned out to be a fraud and creating uncertainties.


    Consider the following statements and actions in his less than four (4) months in office:
    • Appeasement with the communist movement in the country
    • Appeasing the Muslim rebels in Mindanao
    • Appointments of close and questionable confidants
    • Asking the American businesses in the Philippines to pack up and leave
    • Cursing and insulting USA
    • Cursing EU and other Western countries
    • Cursing the Pope
    • Cursing the UN
    • Declaring Abu Sayyaf as not criminals
    • EJK and vigilantism
    • Inclusion of CPP/NDF/NPA supporters in the government hierarchy
    • MOU with corrupt and blacklisted Chinese companies
    • Philippines, China and Russia against the world
    • Pivot to China
    • Promising to double salaries / wages of PNP and AFP
    • Pushing for federalism / charter change
    • Questioned the existence of God
    • Releasing the political (communist) detainees (a prelude to pardon/amnesty?)
    • Separation with US, economically and militarily
    • Squid tactics (urong sulong)
    • Threat to revise and abrogate Edca and MDT
    • Visiting AFP bases all over the country
    • And more controversial / radical expletives, too many to mention

    The above are well planned statements and actions for some sinister purpose. What DU30 is doing now, is deliberate, intentional and part of a grand plan to divide the nation and to make Philippines a socialist, communist or a leftist country. Connect the dots and you will see what I mean. We already knew who are the DU30 loyalist.

    DU30 wants to sever the ties from democratic, civilized and peace loving countries to achieve his goal of isolating, weaken and make the Philippines vulnerable. His squid tactics (urong sulong) is to create confusion and uncertainty amongst everybody.

    DU30 knows that his statements and actions will certainly generate enormous opposition and hostility from democracy loving citizens. He knows that continuing his unpopular actions will eventually lead to street demonstrations, civil disobedience, possible peoples revolt (Edsa) and worst, a civil war. His frequent visit to military camps and his promise to double the salaries of the police and military are his way of getting their sympathies, (specially the lower ranks) and eventually control them to be used, together with his communist supporters, to quell a possible people’s uprising later. I believe that not all Generals and high ranking military officials agree on what DU30 is doing, hence the division of loyalty and trouble among the ranks will ensue.
    His challenge in shoving US business to move out of the country has enormous effect that creates turmoil and can put the Philippines into economic hardship and collapse. This can be considered as economic sabotage which is punishable under our penal law.

    Some of DU30’s cabinet members and his political allies that do not support his way of running the government will eventually loss their trust and confidence in him and join the opposition, hence dissent and division.

    If DU30’s grand plan to create anarchy, chaos, dissent and division succeed, then either of the two (2) very possible scenarios will happen.



    I have reason to believe that the foreign intelligence agencies are monitoring our country and have also considered these scenarios mentioned above. Forget impeachment, he controls Congress. Martial Law is out of the equation as it needs concurrence by Congress’ Upper and Lower House. True, DU30 has 86% approval rating in October 1st survey. A comprehensive survey should be made today to determine his current approval rating as opposition and dissent is growing.



  3. Eliseo m Blancaflor on

    if only article 18, section 25 of oiur constitution were faithfully interpreted and applied there wuould have been no need for our DU30 to do it so.

  4. He is right in pushing the US military out. What is the purpose of removing the 2 military bases if it will be replace by EDCA ? Let us make friends with the US but let us not let their military stay here. Why ? It is a form of control. US will control the decisions of this nation with EDCA. Second, if the war breaks whoever the enemy is, we will surely be bomb because of the presence of the US military here. If we cannot protect ourselves from Abu Sayap and other rebels, it is our fault. What for do we have a military like Army, Marines, Navy ? Let us build our military. Let us put more budget and hire more soldiers to protect this nation. The problem is we always depend on the US for protection. We are weaklings, laging takot, laging naka asa.

    • Open your eyes Max. I personally supported Duterte during the election. I regretted it so much. I did not realize he is a communist loving leader.