The Associated Press reports:
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday threatened to terminate a pact that allows U.S. troops to visit the Philippines, saying “bye-bye America” as he reacted with rage to what he thought was a U.S. decision to scrap a major aid package over human rights concerns.
A U.S. government aid agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, said this week that its board deferred a vote on a renewal of the development assistance package for the Philippines “subject to a further review of concerns around rule of law and civil liberties.”
The U.S. agency has clearly not voted to scrap or approve the aid package, but Duterte unleashed a barrage of expletives-laden tirade upon his arrival in his southern hometown in Davao after back-to-back visits to Cambodia and Singapore.
“I understand that we have been stricken out of the Millennium Challenge. Well, good, I welcome it,” Duterte said with apparent sarcasm. “We can survive without American money,” he said. “But you know, America, you might also be put to notice. Prepare to leave the Philippines, prepare for the eventual repeal or the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement,” he said, referring to a 1998 accord that governs American forces visiting the Philippines for joint combat exercises.
While calling Americans “sons of bitches” and “hypocrites,” Duterte praised China as having “the kindest soul of all” for offering what he said was a huge financial assistance. “So, what do I need America for?” he asked. He also said Russia can be a very important ally, adding: “They do not insult people, they do not interfere.”
Earlier this week Duterte, who compares himself to Hitler and Trump, declared that he had “personally killed” suspected drug dealers to set an example for the police.