Duterte Cancels Joint U.S.-Philippine Naval Patrols in South China Sea, Turns to Russia, China for Military Arms

September 14, 2016

Philippines President Duterte continues his clear-headed dismantling of Obama's military impositions on his country, implemented under the willing tool President Aquino. Following Duterte's declaration on Monday that all remaining U.S. Special Forces in Mindanao must leave (the U.S. has not yet received such an official order), he has now announced the cancellation of Obama's deal with Aquino to carry out provocative joint naval patrols of "contested waters" in the South China Sea.

"We will not join any expedition or patrolling the sea. I will not allow it, because I do not want my country to be in involved in a hostile act," Duterte said in a speech during the 48th anniversary of the 250th Philippine Airlift Wing at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, as reported in the Philippines Inquirer.

"I just want to patrol our territorial waters," he said. "We do not go into a patrol or join any other army from now, because I do not want trouble," Duterte said. "I do not want to ride gung-ho style there with China or with America. I just want to patrol our territorial waters. Territory is limited to the 12-mile limit. That is ours."

Bloomberg reported that Duterte, in a televised speech Tuesday before military officers in Manila, said that two unidentified countries had agreed to give the Philippines a 25-year soft loan to buy military equipment. But he also announced that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and technical people in the armed forces would visit China and Russia "and see what's best."

Reiterating his insistence that the Philippines would not engage in military provocations with the U.S. against China, he said the Philippines needs propeller-driven planes that it can use against insurgents and to fight terrorists in Mindanao. He said he wanted to buy arms "where they are cheap and where there are no strings attached, and it is transparent. I don't need jets, F-16 — that's of no use to us. We don't intend to fight any country."