Philippine President: You humiliated us, made us colony, we will not buy U.S. F-16s
Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed as “utterly useless” an offer by the U.S. defense chief and other top U.S. officials to buy F16 fighter jets arguing that his country needs lighter aircraft to fight insurgents.
The Philippine president referred to a letter to this effect he had earlier received from US Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
"What I need are just propeller-driven planes for anti-insurgency. We don't need F16 and yet they dangle before us after they insulted us," Duterte said during a televised speech atin a military ceremony marking the Eastern Mindanao Command’s anniversary in Davao City.
Duterte also described the letter as an attempt by Washington to “make up” for its previous jabs at his government.
While acknowledging that the U.S. and Philippines have special ties, Rodrigo Duterte said he found the term "friends" hard to stomach.
“It's hard for you to say we are friends. We are friends but remember we are friends because you made us a colony years ago. It was not a friendship agreed upon," he said.
Duterte repeated his frustrations with the U.S., including a refusal to deliver about 23,000 rifles for the Philippine’s police after some US lawmakers raised concern over Manila’s police-led crackdown against illegal drugs. ■