However, Duterte clarified that diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the US will not be severed. "It's not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties, you cut diplomatic relations. I cannot do that," Duterte said on a news conference upon his arrival in the Philippines from a four-day state visit to Beijing. "What I mean was a separation of foreign policy... In the past we always follow what the US will give the cue," Duterte explained. In the news release, Estrada said, “Tama naman ginagawa ni Pangulong Duterte, bakit sila [US] nakikiaalam?” “Di komo tinututulungan tayo ng US, papakialaman naman nila internal problems natin. We are a sovereign country. We have our own Constitution,” Estrada said.
Erap's ouster Estrada said Duterte's statments might expose him to political risks, claiming that the US might move to oust the president from office. “Yun ang pangamba ko, sa akin nga ginawa eh,” Estrada said, referring to his ouster as president in 2001, claiming that the US government was behind it.
Estrada was the country's president June 30, 1998 to January 20, 2001 when he was ousted from office by a popular uprising called "EDSA II." "EDSA I" was the 1986 popular revolt against the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. When GMA News Online sought a comment from the US Embassy about Estrada's statement, Press Attache Molly Koscina said they do not have comments specific to the Manila Mayor's comments. However, Koscina said, "We have yet to hear from the Philippine government what Duterte's remarks on "separation" might mean but it is creating unnecessary uncertainty."
"For our part, we will honor our alliance commitments and treaty obligations. And of course, we expect the Philippines to do the same," Koscina added. Meanwhile, Estrada said he supports Duterte’s move to realign the Philippines with China. “Kasi ang China ‘di nakikialam sa atin, sa ating independence,” Estrada said.