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Trump shrugs off end to Philippines military pact

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:39s

Trump shrugs off end to Philippines military pact

U.S. President Donald Trump brushed aside the decision of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to end a decades-old military agreement with United States on Wednesday, saying he didn't really mind and it would save money.

Libby Hogan reports.

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Trump shrugs off end to Philippines military pact

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NO USE BY AUSTRALIA BROADCASTER WEBSITES..~ This week the leader of the Philippines decided to end a military pact with the United States.

But President Donald Trump brushed it off on Wednesday (February 12) despite alarm from his own military chief.

The agreement sets out the legal framework for U.S. soldiers to operate in the Philippines.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper called ending it - a 'move in the wrong direction.'

Trump saw it differently.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Well I never minded that very much, to be honest.

We helped the Philippines very much.

We helped them defeat ISIS..I don't really mind if they would like to do that, it will save a lot of money." Trump added he had a good relationship with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte had announced the day before his stand against the United States to end a pact that's lasted decades.

Duterte's decision was sparked by the U.S. revoking his former police chief's visa.

Ronald Dela Rosa led Duterte's bloody war on drugs in the Philippines.

Duterte spokesperson Salvador Panelo the military agreement's end.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON, SALVADOR PANELO, SAYING: "As the President said, it's about time we rely on our own resources, we have to strengthen our own capability as a country relative to the defence of our land." Durterte was more direct.

(SOUNDBITE) (Filipino and English) PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT, RODRIGO DUTERTE, SAYING: "I'll make it public since I am a public official.

Trump and others are trying to save the Visiting Forces Agreement.

I said I didn't want.

The Americans are very rude." Washington has called ties with the Philippines ironclad but Duterte has complained of U.S. hypocrisy and ill treatment.

The decision could complicate U.S. military interests in the Asia-Pacific as China's ambitions rise.

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