Philippine President denies Defense Treaty with US

Philippine President denies Defense Treaty with US

Duterte said Tuesday he will not abrogate a defense treaty with the United States but questioned its importance and that of joint combat exercises, which China opposes.In his speech before coast guard sailors on Wednesday, Duterte was again defensive against global controversy over curses he hurled at the USA, the reason his scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama was scrapped during the ASEAN Summit in September.”We want to have in place all the tools that are needed to expand this campaign”, he added.According to the Department of Health, the EO will be patterned after an ordinance that was successfully implemented in Davao City by President Duterte when he was still the city’s mayor.Duterte, who has criticized the US on several occasions since taking office June 30, had earlier said that this month’s exercises with USA troops would be “the last”. A poll by the independent Social Weather Stations last month showed 84 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied with his war on drugs, but 94 percent felt it was important for police to arrest suspects alive, underscoring public worry over the growing body count even in a crime- and insurgency-plagued country long accustomed to deadly violence.There’s already a law in the Philippines banning smoking in public places-Republic Act 9211 or The Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003-and the Philippines has been a signatory to a tobacco control treaty for more than a decade.She was quoted by newspapers as saying that no smoking would be allowed in public places, whether indoor or outdoor. Smokers will still be able to light up at designated smoking areas that must be at least 33 feet away from any building.Duterte’s mission to China is his first in Southeast Asia. Almost half of all Filipino men and 9 per cent of women smoke and experts say the habit costs the economy almost US$4 billion in healthcare and productivity losses every year.It will be built using 75 shipping containers of material imported from China, said Ubial.According to Reuters, the visit from Oct 18 to 21 will see Duterte meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. “It hasn’t really been expounded on, it’s not public knowledge but he does have a vision for that”, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.It will authorise municipal and city governments to impose penalties that could include prison terms, fines, community service or a combination of the three, he added.

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