Several papers reported on press remarks made on Thursday in Yokohama by Philippine President Duterte, who disclosed that during his meeting with Prime Minister Abe on Wednesday night he said that the U.S. treats the Philippines like a “dog.” He also stated: “Every time there is a problem, the U.S. threatens to suspend its aid.” The Philippine leader reiterated that Manila may conduct a review of the existing military accord with Washington and ask U.S. troops to leave his country. Duterte also noted that it may be difficult to seal a bilateral visiting forces agreement with Japan.
In a related article, Yomiuri published an interview with Philippine Communications Secretary Andanar, who suggested that the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that allows the U.S. to rotate troops to the Philippines for extended stays may be discontinued by saying: “If the president concludes that it is no longer practical, the pact will disappear.” However, the minister expressed a negative view about abrogating the mutual defense treaty with Washington. The Philippine official underscored the need for Manila to seek more independent diplomacy by saying: “The previous administrations have relied on the U.S. too much…. The Philippines is a sovereign state, and thus should not be controlled by outsiders.”