South China Sea WW3: Rodrigo Duterte Ending Alliance With America?
With the Philippines’ President-elect Rodrigo Duterte just weeks before assuming office on June 30, the tough-talking mayor has begun showing the world what would be his administration’s stance on the highly contested issue in the South China Sea.Advertisement
One thing’s for sure, Duterte made it clear that the Philippines would be taking a different route in resolving the issue on territorial dispute, saying his administration would take a path that’s less dependent on the United States, its biggest ally in this decade-long battle for sovereignty in one of the world’s most important maritime zones.
According to a report from the Japan Times, Duterte said the Philippines this time, would be more independent in dealing with its local issues, including its territorial disputes with China. He, however, said that his country has this pact with the West to closely work together in handling the matters and bringing the issue for multilateral talks and arbitration.
“We have this pact with the West, but I want everybody to know that we will be charting a course of our own. It will not be dependent on America. And it will be a line that is not intended to please anybody but the Filipino interest,” Duterte was quoted as saying by the Japan Times during his press conference on Tuesday in his hometown Davao City.
It can be recalled that Obama was the first world leader who personally phoned the Philippine’s incoming president days after his victory from the May 9 elections where he got more than 16 million votes, the highest number of votes garnered by a Philippine president in the country’s history.
In their brief conversation, both Obama and Duterte confirmed that both countries agreed to continue its long shared history of alliance in the region.
“The President highlighted the enduring values that underpin our thriving alliance with the Philippines and the longstanding ties between our two peoples, including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth,” the White House said in a statement.