World Bulletin / News Desk
In a statement posted on his personal Facebook page Thursday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. wrote: "America has failed us."
"This is at the core message that Duterte is trying to convey to the American people and the world."
Since Duterte became president, he has said that his administration will adopt an “independent foreign policy” and would shun interference from foreign governments.
The declaration came after a controversial expletive-laden statement made prior to his trip to Laos for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, during which he lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama for his perceived meddling in his government's widely criticized crackdown on drug traffickers, pushers and peddlers.
That was followed by another announcement that Duterte no longer wants the Philippines to participate in joint sea patrols with other countries -- seemingly again turning his nose up at the U.S. and his predecessor’s agreement with the Philippines’ long-time ally to start joint patrols in the South China Sea.
Duterte has also expressed opposition to yearly war games between Filipino and American soldiers and declared his intention to bolster relations with China and Russia as he revamps a foreign policy that has long leaned on Washington.
In his Facebook statement Thursday, Yasay said that Duterte was attempting to break away from the Philippines' "shackling dependency" on the U.S. and needed to put an end to the "nation's subservience to United States' interests".
"It has been 70 years ago since America acknowledged the hard fought independence of its only colony in Asia after it arrogated our victory in the struggle for freedom from 400 years of Spanish domination," Yasay wrote.
"And yet, after proclaiming in July 4, 1946 that the Filipinos had been adequately trained for self determination and governance, the United States held on to invisible chains that reined us in towards dependency and submission as little brown brothers not capable of true independence and freedom."
Yasay described the U.S. approach to the Philippines as a "carrot and stick policy" or reward and punishment strategy -- a policy "effectively used all through the long years since our independence to force Filipinos into submission to American demands and interests."
"This is what PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] is now trying to liberate us from," Yasay said.
He did, however, acknowledge the assistance extended by the U.S. to the Philippines over the years.
"There are many significant countless things that we will be forever grateful to America for," he said.
The U.S. embassy in Manila's press attache, Molly Koscina, earlier told GMA News that the U.S. continues to consider the Philippines an important ally.
"Our relationship with the Philippines is broad and our alliance is one of the most enduring and important relationships in the Asia Pacific region," she said.
The Philippines became an American colony when Spain ceded it to the U.S. under the Treaty of Paris, signed Dec. 10, 1898.
It gained independence under the Treaty of Manila, signed July 4, 1946.