Asia Minute: Philippines Reconsidering U.S. Military Ties?

"They won't go out of their camps. or they're also armed", Lorenzana said.

But she also said "with the new administration, we are now beginning to have meetings and discuss our shared priorities and programs", referring to the Duterte administration. "We might as well give up".

"We are not, we could never be, just a small country and to be shouted at or lectured upon", he said in a speech at a recent air force event.

"I do not want a rift with America".

Duterte had on Monday shown pictures of what he said were victims of colonial-era atrocities against Muslims in Mindanao, repeating assertions that Americans were to blame for the instability that has dogged the region.

The remarks by Mr Liu came as Mr Duterte, who took office in June, has signalled a greater willingness to engage with China than his predecessor, Mr Benigno Aquino, who initiated an global tribunal case against Beijing's expansive claims in the South China Sea in 2013. Obama subsequently canceled his meeting with Duterte in Laos and Duterte issued a hollow apology expressing regret that his remarks "came across as a personal attack on the US president".

And the fallout from an global tribunal ruling on the South China Sea is far from over, they added.

The 16-member Philippine delegation in China is comprised mostly of retired diplomats and is led by Mr Rafael Alunan, a trusted associate of former president Fidel Ramos.

Japan has provided the Philippines with patrol boats and aircraft as it and other powers attempt to offset China's growing strength by creating a chain of regional allies committed to the status quo and the rule of law at sea.

Still, executive agreements with previous presidents allow visiting USA forces, to conduct joint military exercises with the Filipino troops. Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla insisted Duterte's demands that the USA withdraw from the southern Philippines were an expression of "concern to the U.S. servicemen in Mindanao". The Philippines has traditionally leaned on the US, its longtime treaty ally, and other Western allies for its security needs.

Manila-The Philippines assured the United States Tuesday that it will honor its obligations as a military ally following volleys of profane tirades by unpredictable President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier cursed U.S. President Barack Obama.

The U.S. would probably move diplomatically to prevent the Philippines from procuring a major defense system from China, according to Jon Grevatt, a defense industry analyst at IHS Jane's in Bangkok. "There are many whites there", he said Monday, referring to the Islamic terrorists of Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic State affiliate native to the Philippines.

The second step in Duterte's approach is to partially shift the country's procurement of arms to Russian Federation and China.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the US was aware of Duterte's comments, but is "not aware of any official communication by the Philippine government to that effect and to seek that result".

According to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Washington has not yet received a formal request to remove US military personnel from the country's southern region.

Political science professor at the Philippine's University, Dennis Quilala, says Duterte's stance marks a shift from past administrations. However, the value of this alliance is incongruous with the disregard Duterte continues to demonstrate for the United States.

Related news: