MANILA - The Philippines does not mean to completely cut off ties with the United States, a Palace official said Friday, comparing the situation to a couple's separation.
This was after President Rodrigo Duterte, while in China for a state visit, announced his "separation" from the US while also expressing his disdain for Americans.
His announcement created confusion, with his economic managers immediately saying the Philippines does not plan on cutting ties with the US completely.
But Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, who is with the President in Beijing, said this "separation is not an annulment."
"It's not a divorce. It's a father and a son and the son has to leave the house, and the son has to marry and move to a different house," he said.
"The United States was a father to us for a long time. It's but timely already for us to move out from that house and secure our own house and decide for ourselves," he added.
Duterte had said that the country will be aligning itself more with Beijing, even saying it would be China, Russia, and the Philippines "against the world."
National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia, however, said the country is just "broadening" its trade and investment base from the West to the greater Asian region.
"It's a rebalancing. It's not separation," he said.
"We will maintain our ties with the West, with Europe, with Japan, of course and the US and Latin America and even African countries. In this age of globalization, the more relations you have, the better for the economy…the better for the global economy as a whole," he added.
Andanar likewise said that all Philippine agreements remain intact.
"The United States is still an ally, it's there, it's in the MDT [Mutual Defense Treaty]. Wala namang nababago [nothing changed]. We're not abrogating any," he said.
"Our economic policy will just change and the change is all about opening our doors to other countries. That's it," added the Palace official.
-- With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News