MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Rodrigo Duterte telling American troops to leave Mindanao is not yet a policy statement, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Tuesday.
“It is not policy yet. It is not policy. In other words, nobody acted on it yet,” he said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
“There is no specific directive as to how this pronouncement will be effected,” Abella added.
Duterte’s words, however, may be a basis for future actions.
“Definitely, the President has already painted a picture, let’s see how it unfolds,” he said.
Duterte on Monday said that the US special forces based in Mindanao “have to go.”
“Kaya iyong mga special forces, they have to go. They have to go. In Mindanao, maraming mga puti roon, they have to go. I-review ko iyang foreign policy. Hindi ko lang masalita noon out of respect or I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” Duterte said in a speech delivered before his new appointees at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang.
The US State Department, meanwhile, said that the Philippines has not made an official demand on the American troops’ pullout from Mindanao