Philippines and US hold war games after Duterte tirades
THE Philippines and the United States launched war games yesterday against the unusual threat of American forces being ejected from the Southeast Asian nation as its firebrand leader pivots to China.
President Rodrigo Duterte has launched a sustained verbal assault on the United States, the Philippines’ former colonial ruler and mutual defence partner, since he took office on June 30 in response to criticism of his deadly war on crime.
Mr Duterte has in recent days warned the war games will be the last of his six-year term, and threatened to scrap a defence pact implemented by his predecessor that was meant to see more US troops in the Philippines to counter Chinese expansion in the South China Sea.
“Better think twice now because I will be asking you to leave the Philippines altogether,” Mr Duterte said on October 2 as he launched a tirade against the Americans.
“The Americans, I don’t like them ... they are reprimanding me in public. So I say: ‘Screw you, f*** you’,” he said, while signalling again that he wanted to forge closer alliances with China and Russia.
Last week Mr Duterte, 71, also claimed the CIA was plotting to assassinate him.
This came after he branded Barack Obama a “son of a whore” in response to being told the US president planned to raise human rights concerns over his drug war.
Two thousand troops from both sides are taking part in the war games, including in waters close to flashpoint areas of the South China Sea where China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters close to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations. –
Two girls walk past houses destroyed by bombs in Toribio, Colombia, on October 3.