Malacañang wants to take it slow when it comes to interpreting President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he is separating from the United States, in terms of military and economic alliance.
Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag says, “there is no rush for us to interpret the speech of the President.”
She explains, “we would like not to interpret the pronouncement of the President so that once it is (on) paper, it’s clear what the President really wants us to have with regards to our relationship with the US.”
Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez insists, the Philippines will retain its economic partnership with the US.
He says, “we are not stopping trade investiment with America.”
Lopez explains, the President only wants “to strengthen further the ties with China and the ASEAN region, which we have been trading with for centuries.”
In a joint statement, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said, "we will maintain relations with the West but we desire stronger integration with our neighbors. We share the culture and a better understanding with our region."
"The Philippines is integrating with ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea. This regional integration is similar to what has been done in the EU and NAFTA in North America and Mercosur in South America," they noted.
Before members of the business community in China on Thursday, Duterte announced that he would cut off military and trade relations with the United States.
He said, "America, they just lost me. I realign myself in your ideological flow and maybe, I will go to Putin and there are three of us against the world -- Russia, China and the Philippines."
"I announce my separation with the United States. Both in the military and in economic also," Duterte declared.
Before the speech, Duterte hinted before the Filipino community that he would say "goodbye" to the United States.
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