‘Bye bye America’: Duterte threatens US troops (VFA) pact

“We do not need you,” Philippine President Duterte said in a news conference. “Prepare to leave the Philippines. Prepare for the eventual repeal or abrogation of the VFA.”

President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to terminate an agreement that allows US troops to visit the Philippines. He was reacting angrily to what he thought was a US decision to stop a major aid package because of alleged human rights abuses in the Philippines.

Duterte suggested, however, that relations could improve under President Donald Trump. “I like your mouth, it’s like mine, yes, Mr. President. We are similar and people with the same feathers flock together.”

A US 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”.

Duterte’s administration has been criticized by Washington over a bloody crackdown on illegal drugs; unleashing a barrage of expletives in response.

He said the Philippines can do without US aid, called Americans “sons of bitches” and “hypocrites” while praising China for offering what he said was a huge financial assistance.

Some accounts say that Duterte’s drug war has killed more than 6,100 people, including a handful of teenagers.