DFA: Revitalizing PHL-China trade does not mean weakening ties with US

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday that revitalizing trade between the Philippines and China does not mean the weakening of ties between the Philippines and the United States.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. made the assurance during a Senate hearing on his department’s 2017 proposed budget of PHP16.63 billion, which is 20 percent lower than its budget this year.

This comes after Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Wednesday the legal team of President Rodrigo Duterte is reviewing the Philippines-United States’ Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Last Monday, President Duterte said he might, under his presidency, break up ties with America and would rather establish alliances with Russia and China.

The President’s threat to break ties with the US has emanated from the US’ criticism of the Philippine government’s war on drugs.

Meanwhile, Yasay also assured that although the President was “hurt” by criticism coming from the European Union (EU), implying that the administration allows extrajudicial killings under its intensified anti-illegal drug campaign, Philippine-EU ties also remain strong. Azer Parrocha/PNA-northboundasia.com