Duterte to strengthen ties with China, Russia

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he had realigned the Philippines with China and Russia in a “triumvirate… against the world.”

The United States had “lost”, according to the Duterte as the firebrand leader announced on Thursday in Beijing that he is cutting military and economic ties with the US.

But Senator Dick Gordon was quick to rebuff Duterte saying the move was “wrong.”

“I don’t agree with that. I think the President is wrong on that matter,” said Gordon addressing reporters. “You don’t have to leave your old friends that have been reliable, and not be totally be reliable just because you want to get a few things. That’s short-sightedness.”

“It’s also incumbent upon us at the Senate to advice as a friend, not an ally, and tell him, ‘Boss, don’t get upset — but if you do, we can’t do anything — but what you’re doing is wrong.’ And I disagree with him on that,” said Gordon.

Duterte has been issuing a series of verbal assaults on the US, the country’s biggest defense partner, threatening to end the joint military exercises despite standing defense treaties.

A meeting regarding the RP-US joint military exercise is set next month, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. He was unsure of Duterte’s declaration to end the joint military exercise because the Cabinet has not also been consulted.

The Philippine foreign policy shift would open more opportunities for the Philippines, according to Philippine government officials.

Duterte said the US has been arrogant imposing its policies on other countries, including the Philippines, its traditional partner and ally.

“I announce my separation from the United States both in the military… not social, but economics also,” said Duterte, drawing a standing ovation from businessmen during the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum. “I have separated from them so I will be dependent on you for a long time, but don’t worry, we will also help.”

Addressing Filipino community last Wednesday, Duterte also bid goodbye to the US: “It’s about time to say: goodbye my friend. Your stay in my country was for your own benefit.”