Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte clarifies earlier comments about wanting to separate from the U.S. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday (October 21) he was not severing ties with the United States, but wanted to "separate" Manila's foreign policy from that of Washington. "I said separation, what I was really saying was separation of a foreign policy. In the past and until I became president, we always follow what the United States would give the cue," Duterte told journalists shortly after arriving from a four-day visit to China. Duterte had announced at a meeting with business leaders in Beijing that he would "separate" from the United States and realign with China and Russia, raising concerns from the Philippines' long-time ally. "Separation of my foreign policy, that it need not dovetail the foreign policy of America. That is what I meant actually. Even sever is to cut, separate is to chart another way of doing it," Duterte clarified, saying that severing ties would not benefit the Filipino people. Duterte's tone towards China is in stark contrast to the language he has used against the United States, after being infuriated by U.S. criticism of his bloody war on drugs. He has called U.S. President Barack Obama a "son of a bitch" and told him to "go to hell".