Duterte says won't allow US to treat Philippines as colony

A White House readout of the April 29 call characterized it as a "very friendly conversation".

"Do you expect me to fight China in a war?" However, the Philippines won a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague last July that rejected China's assertion to the territory. "It would be useless except for fighting terrorism", he said, adding that the Philippines meant to ask China for more help to develop its economy.

It has also been blamed for the country's worst terrorist attacks, including the 2004 bombing of a ferry in Manila Bay that claimed more than 100 lives. "He is a good guy", Trump said.

Trump has not spoken out against that strategy, and in their call he praised Duterte for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem".

Muslim rebels have been waging a rebellion since the 1970s for an independent or autonomous homeland in Mindanao, with the conflict claiming more than 130,000 lives.

A Philippine Supreme Court judge on Saturday urged the government to file another worldwide arbitration case over the alleged Chinese threat, and also lodge a complaint with the United Nations.

We need weapons, as we face two major threats: terrorism and drug trafficking, said Duterte about eventual signing of agreements on security and defense envisaged during his first visit to this country.

The five-day trip will cement a dramatic improvement in relations with Russian Federation since Duterte came to power previous year and began unravelling his country's decades-long alliances with the United States, which he accuses of hypocrisy and bullying.

The president's spokesman made the announcement from Moscow, where Duterte is on official visit.

Cayetano said the decision to end European Union development assistance — one of the biggest amounts for the country, particularly in supporting the peace process with Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines — conveys a strong message to Europe that the Philippines has an independent foreign policy. "For example, on human rights, which is a big issue for Western countries, we have had our ambassadors there summoned and given the views of the host country", Sorreta said.

Duterte quarreled with the outgoing US administration in the fall of 2016, as the former President Barack Obama claimed that Manila is violating human rights, practicing extrajudicial executions of individuals suspected of drug trafficking.

Duterte has been forging stronger ties with such non-traditional partners as Russian Federation and China as part of an effort to shift the country's foreign policy away from long-time ally, the USA, which has criticized his anti-drug campaign, which has left thousands dead.

Duterte has railed against the United States, particularly when Barack Obama was president, for criticizing the drug war. Speaking to Russian media ahead of the visit, Duterte said he will not leave Philippines national security dependent on Washington.

"There are three of us against the world - China, the Philippines, and Russian Federation".

  • Arturo Norris