President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he would not allow Filipino troops to be dragged into the conflicts involving the United States unless the Philippines is under direct threat.
Speaking to 2018 graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite, Duterte said the country's participation in wars the US engaged in only brought "brutality and agony."
"I am addressing America right now. Whatever expeditions that you will conduct, any wars that you will fight in any other countries, count us out. Wala kaming nakuha all these years of sacrifice except brutality and agony. We will stand [on] our own," the President said.
"We have been enslaved by two countries in succession: Spaniards for 400 years and the Americans for 50 years. Tama na po 'yun. You have had your fill. Do not ask for more...So kung ganun lang naman, unless we are threatened directly, there will be no more joint expedition at least sa panahon ko. Maghintay kayong lahat kung mawala ako," he added.
The Philippines and the US are treaty allies, having signed the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty that obliges American troops to help defend the Philippines if it comes under attack.
An attack against Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft falls under its obligations in the treaty.
The US and the Philippines also inked the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which are intended to bolster the two countries' military alliance.
Duterte is known for his profanity-laced tirades against bodies and countries that are historically allied with the Philippines but are now critical of his war on drugs, such as the United Nations, the European Union, and the US, especially under its previous leader, Barack Obama. — RSJ, GMA News