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Duterte says the Philippines would not send soldiers to Ukraine

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          Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has stated that if America becomes involved in the situation in Ukraine, he would not deploy soldiers to battle.

The United States and the Philippines have a mutual defence pact that pledges both countries to assisting each other if either country is attacked by an external force.

“I’m not going to commit. Why will I deploy my forces if the Americans are fighting a war and they are here? This is not our struggle to fight”, Duterte remarked in a speech on Thursday.

“It will be very tough if the violence spills over and the conflict finds its way here. I will not send a single soldier of mine to war for the rest of my presidency”, he declared.

Duterte has taken attempts to enhance relations with Moscow since assuming office in mid-2016, while criticising US security policy.

In Moscow, Duterte saw Russian President Vladimir Putin twice. In his address on Thursday, he referred to Mr. Putin as a “personal friend”, and he has previously referred to the Russian leader as his “hero”.

However, he recently drew a parallel between the Ukraine crisis and his ‘War on Drugs’, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of drug suspects during police operations since its inception in 2016.

“Putin is murdering civilians there”, Duterte said, adding that “I only murdered criminals because of narcotics”.

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