Former Philippines President and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada has expressed concern that President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-US stance may have severe consequences, including his possible removal from the office, the Philippines Inquirer Online reported on Sunday.
In a statement released on Saturday, Estrada said Duterte's decision to realign Philippine foreign policy away from the US might expose him to political risks such as the US moving to oust him from the office.
Referring to his own ouster in 2001 over corruption allegations, Estrada said the American government would always try to sway him into doing what they wanted when he was the president, saying then US Defence Secretary William Cohen had asked him to stop military offensive when he was waging a war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2000.
He said in Tagalog that his fight then was with the MILF but they (US) meddled and stopped him. When they suddenly removed me, they ignored the MILF; that is why the bombing continued, he added.
The former president said he supported Dutert's independent foreign policy which was not dependent on the US and he called on western governments to stop meddling in the internal affairs of the Philippines.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)