Duterte breaks off military, economic ties with US

President Rodrigo Duterte announces on Thursday, October 20, that he is breaking off ties with the Philippines’ former colonizer, ally, and trading partner, the United States.

Duterte delivered a 40-minute speech during the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China wherein, once again, he expressed his desire to cut ties with the Western superpower. He gave comments about the US imposing policies to other countries, including the Philippines.

Duterte took advantage of the opportunity to speak in front of Chinese government officials, business men, Filipinos in China who attended the event, and the media to make his announcement.

“In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States both in the military… not social, but economics also,” Duterte announced, which prompted a standing ovation from the crowd.

He also added that this separation means that he will be dependent on China for a long time but that the Philippines will be willing to help too.


The President already released several statements before about his desire to separate from the US, stating that there is a need to “cross the Rubicon with the US” but time and time again, other government officials come in to clarify such statements.

After the “crossing the Rubicon” statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Chief Legal Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo made it clear that this statement did not mean that the Philippines will cut ties with the US.

In the same way, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia also released a joint statement after Duterte’s announcement in Beijing that the country is interested to have a regional economic integration but relations with the West will still be maintained.

It has been previously announced by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella that statement and remarks made by President Duterte are not considered as policies unless official actions are taken.

Meanwhile, President Duterte seems determined in establishing closer relations with China and Russia, even saying that it will be “three of us against the world. China, Philippines, and Russia.”

There is nothing wrong in pursuing stronger economic ties with Asian countries but the question is whether it is really necessary to lose a long-time ally in the process. We just hope that whatever comes out of the President’s mouth is not just born out of personal desires but is a statement that is well thought of and well-represents the 100 million Filipinos that he serves, especially after he revealed that he was denied a US visa when he was in college.

Sources: (,


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