#1
Let's see if the Don stops all of this freeloading by other countries........

President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Saturday 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 earlier in the 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 agency has clearly not voted to scrap or approve the aid package, but Duterte unleashed an expletives-laden tirade upon his arrival in his southern hometown of 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.

“You know, *** for tat ... if you can do this, so (can) we. It ain’t a one-way traffic,” Duterte said, adding tauntingly, “Bye-bye America.”

Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. also criticized the U.S. aid decision, saying it happened after Duterte declared he would chart a foreign policy course independent of Washington

The Philippines had been slated for another aid package after its previous five-year, $434 million poverty reduction program was successfully completed in May under Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.

“I will let Obama fade away and if he disappears, then I will begin to reassess,” Duterte said, adding that he and Trump acknowledged each other’s similarly brash manners.

“We talk in the same language,” Duterte said. He recalled that when he told Trump in a recent phone call that “I like your mouth, it’s like mine,” he said Trump responded by saying, “Yes, Mr. President, we’re similar.”

“And you know, people with the same feather flock together,” Duterte said.


https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2...-deferred.html