A day after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared his “separation” from the U.S. while warming up to China, his aides and cabinet ministers were once again struggling to explain what their leader really meant.
Despite the president’s strong language—the latest in a string of invective hurled at Washington—his spokesman, Martin Andanar,said Friday that the U.S. is “still an ally” and “separation is not an annulment.”
Three ministers who had accompanied Mr. Duterte on his state visit here this week offered assurances that the Philippines would continue economic relations with the U.S., including trade and investment. They included Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez,who is viewed as close to the new president and his government’s top economic adviser.
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