MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday the Philippines could survive without conditional aid from the United States, as Washington's rivals Beijing and Moscow had offered assistance.
In his latest attack against the country's long-standing ally, Duterte called out outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg for publicly criticizing his bloody war on drugs and the US government for setting "many conditions" on aid.
"Yung inyong assistance sa inyo na lang yan [You can keep your assistance]," Duterte said in a televised speech from Cotabato City. "Di kami patay-gutom makakasurvive kami [We are not that desperate, we will survive]," he added.
Duterte said China offered assistance to the Philippines during his four-day state visit to Beijing last week, which signaled a thaw in ties strained by disputes in the South China Sea.
"I can ask for more, baka ibigay sa akin ng libre I can develop Mindanao to its fullest extent [I can ask for more, maybe they will give me a project for free, I can develop Mindanao to its fullest extent]," he said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made a similar commitment when they met on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian leaders' summit in Laos last month, Duterte said.
"Sabi naman nila sa Russia pumunta ka dito at nandito lahat ng kailangan mo ibibigay namin magusap lang tayo [They told me, come here, we have everything you need and we will give it to you]," he said.
Even Japan, a US ally, committed to helping the Philippines, Duterte said. The President was on a three-day official visit to Tokyo earlier this week. Addressing the US, Duterte said:
"I'd like to send this message once again for the last time...you talk to us as if we're still under your colony time na parang tauhan ninyo kami na kung magbigay kayo ng aid maraming kondisyones," he said.
[I'd like to send this message once again for the last time...you talk to us as if we're still under your colony, as if we are your pawns that you'll only give aid depending on many conditions.]
Duterte singled out Goldberg, who was among the first to raise concerns over his alleged links to extra-judicial killings during the presidential campaign.
"Ayoko naman pumatay ng tao [I don't want to kill people]... you picture me as if I enjoy killing my countrymen," he said.
Speaking to Chinese businessmen in Beijing last week, Duterte announced his "separation" from America and said it would be China, Russia and the Philippines "against the world.
" His economic managers swiftly clarified that Duterte was planning to strengthen alliances in Asia and trade ties with the US would remain.
Source: ABS-CBN NEWS