Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently disavowed Filipinos in America by publicly declaring that they are not considered Filipinos anymore.
Rifts in the relationship between the Philippines and the United States continue to threaten America’s vital alliance in Asia. The 71-year-old president has not not hesitated in expressing his sentiments about the U.S. publicly.
In a video clip posted to Facebook, President Duterte said:
“The Filipinos in America are not Filipinos anymore, they’re Americans. Their attitude is American. What about the Filipinos in China? Here mainland there are about 300,000 Filipinos, but China is very kind to them. Just don’t do them bad. If you do something bad to China, like for example if you do drugs in china and they have the death penalty there — then I’m sorry, but I won’t defend you. In the Philippines, the death penalty is in the streets.”
During a state visit on Thursday in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, President Duterte proclaimed his decision to distance the Philippines from the United States when it came to foreign policy. While discussing military and economic ties, he said:
“In this venue I announce my separation from the United States. Americans are loud, sometimes rowdy… is not adjusted to civility.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, it appears that the Filipino leader is repelled by any notion of U.S. imperialism having grown up in a culture where locals still harbored resentment of past U.S. military actions and colonial rule.
The president’s anti-American attitude was noted last month when he said President Obama shouldn’t lecture him on human rights. Duterte’s extreme stance in handling drug dealers has been frowned upon by those around the world.
Since Duterte assumed his leadership role, police have shot dead nearly 1,600 suspected drug dealers who resisted arrest. An additional 700 people have been victims in vigilante killings and more than a thousand deaths are still under investigation for drug-related cause.
During Duterte’s visit to China last week, the two countries signed 13 agreements regarding trade and investment. Despite the Philippines and China’s dispute over waters in the South China Sea, the two have engaged in friendly relations.
Duterte reassured his Japanese audience during a seminar held by the Japan External Trade Organization:
“I went to China for a visit and I would like to assure you that all there was, was economics. We did not talk about arms, we did not talk about stationing of troops, we avoided talking about alliances, military or otherwise.”
The Filipino president also pledged to get foreign troops out of the country within two years and said that the Philippines was not “a dog on a leash” in reference to its relationship to the U.S.