- Pres. Rodrigo Duterte warns of a “rubicon” or “point of no return” in terms of Philippines-US relations
- Duterte expressed openness to deal with Russia and China
- He said that although he is not breaking alliances, he is open to building new ones
President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened a “rubicon” or “point of no return” in terms of relationships between the Philippines and the United States; stating that he plans to seek help with Russia.
“I’m about to cross the Rubicon between me and the United States. At least for the next six years. I would need your help,” he said, as previously quoted by GMA News.
Duterte had met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held in Laos earlier this month.
He also revealed plans to visit Russia after foreign trips to China and Japan, which are currently on the works.
The President has previously expressed openness in welcoming business investments from China and Russia, even as far as buying arms from these countries.
Duterte clarified that his statements were not about junking alliances, but rather opening up to countries like China, with whom the Philippines has had a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
“I am not really going to break ties but we are opening alliances with China,” he said.
Asked to comment on the defense agreement between the US and the Philippines, Duterte said that his American counterpart would need approval of the US Congress to declare war.
“There is a RP-US Pact that was in the ‘50s. It says that an attack on the Philippines would be an attack of the United States. But in the United States Constitution, it says that before a President can declare war, with anybody in defense of an ally, he has to Congress for permission to go to war. That’s the problem. So if Congress will not give him that authority, what will happen to us?” he said.
Duterte, however, admitted that his previous remarks did not sit well with the US; likening himself to leaders previously deposed with the help of the Americans.