(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte is not interested in seeking other military alliances with other countries.
In an interview over CNN Philippines on Friday, Feb. 14, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President was instead interested in strengthening the country’s own capabilities.
“Kaya nga papalakasin natin ang puwersa natin, eh di mag-uumpisa tayong bumili ng mga high-tech weapons,” he said.
Panelo issued the statement after the Philippines moved to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a pact that governs the conduct of American soldiers on Philippine soil as they conduct military exercises.
Duterte had threatened to scrap the agreement after the US cancelled Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s US visa.
Dela Rosa said he believed this was because of his role in the drug war as former national police chief.
The US has repeatedly criticized the campaign.
US President Donald Trump has said he was “fine” with the termination of the agreement, saying the US would save money from the move.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Philippine and US troops would continue their military exercises this year until the 180 days from notice of the termination and within which the VFA is still in effect are up.