September 27, 2016 / 7:17 AM / a year ago

Duterte says will create 'so many new alliances' for Philippines

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said his country, a longtime U.S. ally, was seeking to build “many news alliances” and could turn to Russia and China for help, including on tackling his country’s drug problem.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a news conference in Davao after Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad was freed from the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Islamist militant group in Jolo, Sulu in southern Philippines September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr

“By next year, I will have entered into so many new alliances,” he said during a speech after inspecting an illegal amphetamine factory.

He also said he would not allow his country’s former colonial power, the United States, to “impose on us anything”.

Though he said he wanted to be friends with China, he also said it was important it control the activity of drug criminals supplying narcotics to the Philippines.

“If you consider us your friend and want to help us, most of the materials are from China, what does that mean?,” he said.

Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Robert Birsel

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