The Philippines has told the United States it will scrap a 68 year-old security pact that has allowed American forces to train in the country for decades.
Although President Rodrigo Duterte said President Donald Trump has tried to save the agreement, talks have collapsed.
In an angry speech in Manila on Monday night, Duterte accused the U.S. of meddling in Philippine affairs, saying: “America is very rude. They are so rude.”
The agreement has seen the U.S. rotate forces through Philippine military bases since 1999. It also allows hundreds of joint exercises each year, and gives the U.S. a key strategic foothold near the disputed South China Sea.
The agreement will lapse in 180 days and the Philippines has given America notice that it wants to terminate it.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a tweet that Manila’s notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement was received by the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Locsin signed the notice on the order of Duterte, who has often criticized U.S. security policies while praising those of China and Russia despite the Philippine military’s close historic ties with its American counterpart.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila acknowledged receipt of Manila’s notice and said Washington “will carefully consider how best to move forward to advance our shared interests.”
“This is a serious step with significant implications for the U.S.-Philippines alliance,” the embassy said in a statement. “Our two countries enjoy a warm relationship, deeply rooted in history. We remain committed to the friendship between our two peoples.”
President Rodrigo Duterte has become increasingly antagonistic toward the U.S. since he became enraged by Washington’s refusal to grant a visa to Sen. Ronald dela Rosa—the mastermind behind Duterte’s violent war against drugs—and sought closer relations with China.
Thousands of mostly poor suspects have been killed under the bloody campaign Duterte launched when he took office in mid-2016, alarming the U.S. and other Western governments and human rights watchdogs.
Duterte gave the U.S. a month to restore dela Rosa’s visa, but U.S. officials have not publicly reacted to the Philippine leader’s demand.