PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte's independent foreign policy was merely aimed to put an end to the past leaders' mindset to be subservient to a lone allied country, a Palace spokesperson said Saturday.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the chief executive sought to broaden the "borders of support" the Philippines is getting from all of its allied countries.
"In a sense, there was a break on our mentality that our source of security comes only from particular country. Perhaps, our borders of support have already broadened or widened," Abella told radio dzRB.
Abella's statement came on the heels of Duterte's remark during his Friday's visit to Russian warship Admiral Tributs that docked in Manila that he wanted Russia to be the Philippines "ally and protector."
According to a report by Reuters, the President was quoted as saying, "We welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies, or maybe our ally to protect us."
Abella, however, clarified that the President was not confining the Philippines' partnership to just one country like Russia.
“Basically, [Duterte's statement] is not only intended to Russia but also to our neighbor[ing countries]. Perhaps, what the President wants to say is we are beginning to recognize that our borders are not necessarily limited or confined to simply one country or one geopolitical force," he said.
Amid the Philippines' spat with its long-time ally, the United States, Duterte has been very outspoken of having a closer ties with Russia and China.
Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, who led the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, said the Russian government was willing to help in advancing the Philippines’ military capabilities, as part of the two countries’ interest of mutual cooperation and enhancement.
“As far as I understand the Philippines, there is an objective need to diversify the range of circle of your foreign partners,” Mikhailov told a press conference last Wednesday.
Abella said that the chief executive, during his visit to Russia either by May or April, was expected to sign a military pact with his counterpart.
“I’m sure that (military deal) is part and parcel of it but I cannot tell you what exactly that is,” the presidential spokesperson said. (Sunnex)