Duterte reiterates foreign policy
President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated on Wednesday his administration's foreign policy during his hosting of the traditional vin d' honneur for the members of the diplomatic corps.
Duterte, who earlier declared "separation" from the United States, said that his administration values partners as it seeks strengthened existing friendships "even as we pursue new ones."
"We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress, and prosperity," he said.
Duterte declared separation from the US after outgoing President Barack Obama and the State Department criticized the alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines due to the government's war on illegal drugs.
He said the Philippines would be more open to China and Russia in terms of trade and economy.
During the vin d' honneur, new US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim was present.
"In a world that recognizes our interconnectedness and respect each others’ sovereign independence, the horizons and frontiers of cooperation are virtually limitless. Friendship, after all, knows no bound.
The Philippines has and will continue to build on our friendship founded on a common objective, shared values and time honored principles of international law," Duterte said.
Duterte renewed his promise to "address the three basic evils" that subjected the Filipinos, especially the poorest and the disenfranchised "to the most unbearable burdens of slavery, or million of them to drugs, corruption, criminality and a revolution in the south."
"I say to you all now that sacred vow remains unchanged. I stay true to the mandate reposed on me," he said. Celerina Monte/ DMS