President Duterte: US can’t reestablish military base in Philippines

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said Monday that he would not allow American forces to reestablish a military base in the Philippines noting it will put the country in harm’s way in case there is conflict.

“I will just put on record my thoughts. I have nothing against America, I have nothing against China but if you put bases here, you will double the spectacle of a most destructive thing just like Manila during the Second World War,“ President Duterte said in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa.

“Kaya maglagay-lagay ka ng base at this time, this will ensure if war breaks out, because there would be atomic arsenals brought in, this will ensure the extinction of the Filipino race.“

President Duterte said the Filipino nation claims its rightful place in the community of sovereign states and his government would continue to pursue an independent foreign policy.

With regards to the competing claims in the South China Sea, he said, “We worked without fail to protect our rights in the South China Sea, neither beholden nor a pawn to anyone. We broadened the boundaries of Philippine diplomacy. We built productive ties with everyone willing to engage us on the basis of equality and mutual respect”.

“And, we redefined our relationships with our most important partners, placing the country in a far better position to advance our interests in an evolving regional order and emerging global problems,” he added.

In 1992, the Philippine Senate terminated the bases contract with the United States shutting down Subic Bay, one of the world’s largest American naval installations. PND