Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has put an end to the 65-year joint military contract with the US.
Over the weekend, Duterte informed the US the Philippines wouldno longer participate in joint patrols in the South China Sea.
The Philippine defense chief, Delfin Lorenzana, announced all joint patrols have come to an end and a small detachment of American troops providing counterterrorism assistance on Mindanao island are to leave.
Duterte has made it clear he wants the Philippines to become independent from the United States several times since he was elected president.
Despite Lorenzana’s statement, The US Embassy in Manila confirmed Saturday that the US has yet to receive a formal notification from the Philippines to halt joint military patrols and exercises.
Even Lorenzana admitted he was uncertain as Duterte’s announcement was discovered after “We heard it on TV.”
With everyone, even the Philippine military, unsure of how to proceed, Duterte continues to claim his country needs to “break up” with the US.
Duterte admitted he seeks to reach an alliance with Russia and China after dropping the US – but will it be that easy?
Duterte’s controversial war on drugs has resulted in 3,700 dead drug dealers and up to 26,000 arrests with help from vigilante extrajudicial killings.
Daily Mail reported eight of every 10 Filipinos are satisfied with Duterte’s no-nonsense rule as the country has seen a massive response against drug dealers and users.
The Roman Catholic Church, the European Union, the US and the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon believe the vigilante killings are morally inhumane and are a breach of human rights but none can deny the amazing strides the Philippines has taken in the war on drugs.
So will Russia or China be interested in joining forces with the Philippines?
Even China is skeptical.
In the meantime, drug dealers fearing for their lives have turned themselves in to local authorities by the thousands, indicating Duterte knows exactly how to handle his country.
By Kenya Sinclair