Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is certainly no fan of the United States.
The man who has abused US President Barack Obama in the most vulgar of language, who has asked America to remove its troops in the country, hit the United States again, accusing it of “undermining” the Philippines economy and causing the Philippine peso to tumble against the U.S. dollar.
“The Americans are undermining us now. They are manipulating …the peso weakened,” Duterte said in a speech on Tuesday at the Philippine marine headquarters in Taguig.
The Philippine peso hit a seven-year low on Monday, closing at 48.25 to a dollar, the weakest since the close of 48.335 on Sept. 15, 2009.
Duterte told the marine troops that “the Americans are bullying the Philippines,” adding that the U.S. has disrespected the Philippines.
The Philippines is a treaty ally of the U.S., with Manila depending on the U.S. for military and other assistance.
However, Duterte said the U.S. “cannot understand a friend.”
“Instead of helping us, they will attack you,” he said.
If the U.S. will continue putting pressure and manipulating the Philippines, Duterte warned, “I will have new alliances of commerce and trade.”
He begged for the understanding of the marine troops. “This Republic will rise. This Republic of the Philippines will continue to be great,” he said.
“Time will come that we don’t need them anymore. We will survive on our own. We fight our wars on our own and we will win as a country,” Duterte said.
Some sectors blamed the depreciation of the peso on Duterte’s acerbic statements against U.S. President Barack Obama and the United Nations.
However, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told a news briefing at the Malacnang presidential palace that Duterte’s statements has nothing to do with the peso depreciation, saying the weakening of the peso is “a result of the strengthening of the dollar, more than weakening of the peso.”
“And why is the dollar strengthening? Because of the impending increase in the interest rate by the Fed. This has been ongoing for several quarters already,” Diokno said.