PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has recognized the United States and China for providing aid to the Philippine government in the fight against Islamic State-linked terrorists in Marawi City.
“Let us give where credit is due. The United States helped the Armed Forces in this fight,” Duterte told Filipino-American tourists during the 11th Ambassadors’ Tour Philippine reception in Davao City on Friday.
The President then mentioned the first batch of firearms and ammunition that China delivered late last month.
“And China committed and delivered a lot of firearms for us,” Duterte said, adding Russia has also expressed its intention to extend assistance.
“I don’t know about Russia but [President Vladimir] Putin, sabi niya tutulong siya [he said he would also help],” he said.
Duterte said neither Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping sought something in return for their help.
“Walang attachment diyan. Walang head of state, si Putin o si President Xi Jinping magsabi, ‘O, bigyan kita but you should be loyal’ [No attachments. Putin or Xi did not say, ‘I would give you this but you should be loyal’],” he said.
Duterte also said the country would abide by the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington even as he had reached out to non-traditional allies.
“I welcome them all. Now, do not make the mistake of, you know, putting something on my behavior. I like talking to people. You have to make friends, and there is a need for you to acquire the of firearms and they are there,” he explained
“So, we have an RP-US Military Pact, that was in 1950. It’s still there. So I cannot enter into military alliances with other nations because I would be violating the US-RP agreement,” he added.
In the Marawi offensive, the US provided technical support such as aerial surveillance to Filipino troops on the ground, while China provided arms and ammunition worth P370 million. Both countries also pledged help for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
While highlighting America’s help in fighting terrorists, the President took another swipe at former US president Barack Obama for the latter’s criticism of his bloody war on drugs.
“[Obama] talked publicly about me, and how I run this country…Do not tell me what to do, and do not just—you know—give me admonition. I am not a federal postal employee, so if you want something, go to the United Nations…Then, you can talk there until kingdom come and file a case against me,” he said.