Duterte tells US: 'We just want to be left alone, live in peace'

Published May 15, 2021, 12:20 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines would rather live in peace than fight alongside the United States in any of war or conflict, President Duterte declared in a recent public address.

President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo/Malacañang)

The President, still bearing a grudge for the past US colonial rule over the country, vowed to oppose any dispatch of Filipino troops to join the United States in fighting other countries.

Duterte also could not care less if the United States would not sell weapons to the Philippines, saying the country has no enemy anyway.

“Please do not include my country in your… Sa panahon ko, there will never be a time that I will allow my soldiers to go somewhere to fight and join the Americans kung anong — whatever you — wherever you create,” he said during a taped public address aired on state television Friday, May 14.

“We do not fight with anybody, there’s no — there’s really no point in acquiring ballistic missiles. We just asked to be — to be left alone and live in peace,” he added.

Duterte made clear that he has “no quarrel with the Americans” but asked the old colonial power not to include him in its disputes.

He also has no intention of listening or following the US like the past administration officials did during the Panatag Shoal standoff with China in 2012.

“Please do not include me with you. Baka tingin ninyo sa akin kagaya nitong mga insurektos na ito. Hindi mo ako mapasunod diyan (You might think I’m like the insurrecto. You can’t order me around),” he said.

Duterte made the statement after lashing out at past administration officials for following the supposed US-brokered deal to pull out the ships from Panatag Shoal without seeking “mutually acceptable” parameters with China. The country’s ship pullout, which Duterte lamented was a wrong move by the previous officials, allowed China to take possession of the disputed territory then.

In his remarks, Duterte wanted nothing to do with any US conflict, hoping to spare Filipino soldiers from getting hurt or killed. He recalled that many lives lost when America got involved in the Vietnam War in the late 1950s.

“When it comes to lives and troubles, ‘wag mo na akong kagaya noon na (don’t use me like) you created — you imposed your imperialistic might doon sa Vietnam, iyong South Vietnam noon,” Duterte said.

“Tapos tingnan mo nangyari (Look at what happened), you lost 58,000 of your soldiers, only in the end to retreat, nagkahulog-hulog pa, nagkakandarapa pa (you fell and ran away), nothing happened,” he said.

Duterte also still resented the United States for the “problem” it created during its colonial occupation in the country years ago. “You created the problem, as a matter of fact, when you invaded my country. Doon nagka-l****-l**** ang Pilipino, from the Spaniards to the Americans. You never gave us that dignity of being a true Republic,” he said.

In February, the President demanded the United States to “pay” if it wanted to keep the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the Philippines. Duterte earlier ordered the termination of the military pact with the US but postponed the move when the pandemic hit last year.

Duterte previously threatened to cut ties with the US after getting infuriated by its criticisms of his war on drugs as well as alleged meddling in domestic affairs. As he seemed to veer away from the longtime ally, Duterte has forged closer relations with nontraditional allies like China and Russia since he came to power.