MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines will not renege on treaties and agreements with established allies even as it pulls away from dependence on the United States and the West, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson said on Friday.
Ernesto Abella said Duterte's announcement that Manila would "separate" from the United States was a "restatement of his position on charting an independent foreign policy".
Duterte wanted to "separate the nation from dependence on the U.S. and the West and rebalance economic and military relations with Asian neighbors," like China, Japan and South Korea, Abella said in statement.
"This is not an intent to renege on our treaties and agreements with our established allies, but an assertion that we are an independent and sovereign nation, now finding common ground with friendly neighbors with shared aspirations in the spirit of mutual respect, support & cooperation."
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Nick Macfie)