Duterte’s announcement on PH ‘separation’ from U.S. draws mixed reactions from lawmakers

President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of a military and economic “separation” by the Philippines from the United States has drawn mixed reactions from lawmakers. On Thursday, Duterte said during a trade forum in Beijing that “America has lost” and that he has realigned himself with China’s “ideological flow.”

Duterte’s announcement on PH ‘separation’ from U.S. draws mixed reactions from lawmakers

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of a military and economic “separation” by the Philippines from the United States has drawn mixed reactions from lawmakers.
On Thursday, Duterte said during a trade forum in Beijing that “America has lost” and that he has realigned himself with China’s “ideological flow.”
“Maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world – China, Philippines and Russia,” he said.
Sen. JV Ejercito expressed concern over a possible “economic backlash.” He pointed out that the U.S. is still the biggest trading partner of the Philippines, and that U.S. BPOs employ about a million FIlipinos.
“This matter should have been studied throughly. We could pursue an independent foreign policy without necessarily cutting ties with the U.S.,” he remarked.
For Sen. Win Gatchalian, Duterte’s statement needs to be clarified by cabinet members on the scope and reach of the supposed “separation.” He said the administration’s independent foreign policy is a “catalyst” for renewed nationalism, but he would rather engage all countries in trade and commerce to enhance the economy.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told CNN Philippines’ The Source that the country is not stopping trade and investments with the U.S.
He said, “The President basically mentioned his desire to strengthen further and rekindle ties with China and the ASEAN region which we have been trading with for centuries.”
The Senate plays an important role in Philippine foreign policy as the Constitution requires at least two-thirds of Senators to ratify any treaty or international agreement before it can be implemented.

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