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Philippine President Warns U.S.: Don't Treat Us 'Like a Dog With a Leash'

It is unclear where Rodrigo Duterte's latest diatribe leaves U.S.-Philippines ties after he suggested a 'separation' last week between both nations.
Image: President Rodrigo Duterte speaks before his departure for Japan, at the Ninoy Aquino International airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila
President Rodrigo Duterte speaks before his departure for Japan at the Ninoy Aquino International airport in metro Manila in the Philippines on Oct. 25, 2016.ERIK DE CASTRO / Reuters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ratcheted up his rhetoric against the United States, warning that he will not stand for his country to be treated "like a dog with a leash."

Duterte said he does not like having foreign troops stationed in his nation — a reference to the longstanding agreement that allows the American military access to Philippine bases.

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The fiery comment came just before he boarded a plane for Japan, a fellow U.S. ally that has grown increasingly nervous about the Philippines' cozier relationship with rival China.

Duterte also spoke about Monday's visit to Manila by Daniel Russel, a U.S. assistant secretary of state, saying Washington should forget about an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, with the Philippines if he were to stay in power longer.

The EDCA is a 10-year agreement that was first signed in 2014.

"You have the EDCA — well, forget it. If I stay here long enough," he told reporters. "I do not want to see any military man of any other nation except the Filipino. That's the only thing I want."

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He did not elaborate on what staying longer meant. In the Philippines, a president is allowed only one six-year term in office.

The remarks were another perplexing swing from Duterte, who last week announced in China his "separation" from the U.S. before assuring that ties were not being severed and he was merely pursuing an independent foreign policy.