Duterte threatens to abrogate VFA after US aid program is cut
President Rodrigo Duterte asked the United State to prepare to leave the Philippines and to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement.
“They (United States) do not look at us kindly. We have this huge problem and you exacerbate by --- no, actually we do not need it. We can survive without American money,” Duterte said in a press conference in Davao International Airport where he arrived after his state visits to Cambodia and Singapore.
Duterte made his statement after a the US held its assistance to the Philippines under the Millennium Challenge Corp over the issue of extra judicial killings.
“But you know, America, you might also be put to notice. Prepare to leave the Philippines. Prepare for the eventual repeal or the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement,” he said.
“So why don’t you just leave and if you think that there is extrajudicial killing here?it’s a prevalent one, it’s a virulent practice, you know. So why are you here? What is your purpose in this Visiting Forces Agreement?,” Duterte added.
“You sat on my land for 50 years; oppressed us for 50 years; killed so many Filipinos. In Samar, because one colonel died of your troops, you massacred. All males above 10 were all killed. That is how civilized you are. Do not even go to us. Just ask your Indian neighbors there in the reservation. You hypocrites, you have the gall to cut off aid. You enjoyed the fat of my land for 50 years. Better shut up, you hypocrites,” said Duterte.
Amid the suspension of US aid, Duterte emphasized other countries offer better assistance for the Philippines.
“China has the kindest soul of all and I understand that we have been stricken out of the Millennium Challenge (Corporation). Well good. I welcome it, actually in exchange for the 400 million…. China communicated to us. They’re giving us 50 billion. So what do I need for America for?,” he said.
He also mentioned the assistance offered by Russia and China after US stopped the sale of riffles to Philippine National Police.
“The cancellation of the 23,000 firearms which we were supposed to get it from you (US) says one of your senators, a smart aleck, said that we should not get it because of the violation of human rights. Then Russia came forth and said ‘no problem.’ As I use the word, buy one take one,” Duterte said.
“China has been communicating with us everyday and I think, I think I’ll send the defense secretary. They said the guns are ready. It’s here. We want to give it to you. What do you want? Do you want us to deliver? Then to you or you, you make arrangements with your Navy and get it from us. That’s the truth,” he added.
“We are glad that we are freed from proving anything to the United States. We do not need the money. China said they will provide so many…and we will give you the money. So, bye-bye America and work on the protocols that would eventually move you out from the Philippines,” he added.
Duterte emphasized he “could not sense any hostile drift” from incoming US President Donald Trump during their recent phone conversation.
“I have talked to Trump. Trump does not sound hostile or antagonistic to me. And he said that you know, I know that we have a bad fix between our two nations. I said, ‘yes sir. And I’m sorry for that, but it is not really your institutions but people there in the Washington D.C.,” he said.
“He was very nice, very courteous, I could not sense any hostile drift, or even the manner he was saying it so indifference I’ll just wait,” he said.
He said he will let President Barack Obama “fade away”. “If he disappears then I will begin to reassess but if I have the time I would like to say to the Americans, come here they have a very good ambassador, of Korean descent. He’s very courteous also,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS