Duterte Wants U.S. Troops Out of Mindanao
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the United States Special Forces based in Mindanao should leave for fears that they have become an attraction to the Abu Sayyaf group.
In a speech delivered at the oath taking of newly appointed officials, the President noted that many Americans are residing in Mindanao, who he said may be the next target of the extremist militant group.
“So the [US] special forces, they have to go. They have to go. In Mindanao, there are many white [Americans] there. They have to go. I will just review the foreign policy. I can’t just talked [about it] earlier out of respect or I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” Duterte said.
“[The situation will be] more aggravated. An American will be killed if he is noticed [by Abu Sayyaf]. [The bandits] will ask for ransom [and will soon] kill [the hostage], even if you’re a black or a white American,” he added.
Duterte said this after showing photos of the atrocities committed by American troops against the Muslims during the Bud Dajo massacre in 1906.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement said that Duterte’s recent pronouncement on the presence of US troops was a step in pursuing an independent foreign policy.
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