US protests Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s separation’ from Washington

October 24, 2016 8:00 pm

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel issues his statement to reporters after meeting with Philippine officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, October 24, 2016. (Photo by AP)

The top American envoy for Asia has expressed deep concerns over Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements against the and its leadership.
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel pronounced the concerns in a meeting with the Philippines’ defense and foreign ministers on Monday at the Department of Foreign Affairs in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, the Philippine capital, days after Duterte announced a break with .
During a visit to China last week, President Duterte announced a “separation from the US,” saying it applied to military and economic cooperation between Washington and Manila.
However, a day later, Duterte walked back slightly from the statement, saying he did not mean total “separation” from Washington.
Last month, Duterte insulted US President Barack Obama with vulgar and undiplomatic language. 
Russel said he told Philippine officials that many people around the world were concerned about Duterte’s fiery rhetoric.
“The succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines’ intentions have created consternation in a number of countries,” Russel told reporters in Manila.
“Not only in mine and not only among governments, but also growing concern in other communities, in the expat Filipino community, in corporate boardrooms as well. This is not a positive trend,” he stated.
Russel said he also conveyed to Philippine ministers American concerns about Duterte’s handling of the deadly crime war, including alleged extrajudicial killings of drug dealers.
“I also reiterated the importance that we place and that others place on due process and respect for the rights of citizens as an important part of protecting our communities as well,” Russel said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering his speech prior to departing for a visit to China at the Davao International Airport in Davao, the Philippines, on October 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Analysts say the United States is very worried after President Duterte’s pronouncement of his country’s “separation” from the US and deepening alliance with China.
“We see a very great change in Philippine policy. Instead of serving as a military base for the United States to attack China, I think they are going to reduce their military ties to the United States, and expand their economic ties with China, and as a result, I think, the US will eventually lose one of their key military outposts controlling China’s trade on the South China Sea,” American writer James Petras told Press TV on Friday.
“I think this is a major blow to US imperial ambitions in Asia,” stated Petras, who has written dozens of books on American .
Last month, the forthright Filipino leader harshly criticized the US and President Obama, and said he was not a “puppet” of America.  “I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people.”
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