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Beijing Welcomes Philippines' Stance on South China Sea Dispute

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The VFA, signed in 1998, is a bilateral agreement that allows U.S. military and civilian personnel temporarily in the Philippines in connection with activities approved by the Philippine government.

The Philippine president's comments are in response to a U.S decision to scrap a major aid package over human rights concerns.

"If you want, let's just develop the oil there, we can share", he said in a speech to government employees, referring to China.

HRW said it had documented the existence of the DDS and Mr. Duterte's role in the killings as early as 2009, but Mr. Duterte had never been charged.

It may be recalled that Duterte repeatedly criticized outgoing US President Barack Obama after the State Department joined what could be called "an worldwide chorus of criticism" over his bloody war on drugs that has left thousands of people killed.

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The popular President of the Philippines has met disapproval from his critics who accuse him of being master player in the alleged Extra-judicial Killings supposedly happening under the watch of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine military since the administration launched an intensive drive against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality.

Because most of the victims had criminal records, the murders were blamed on a vigilante group, known as the Davao Death Squad (DDS), according to the CBCP.

Former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Monday, December 19, criticized the Duterte administration for not protesting China's militarization of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Malacanang recently clarified that Pres. Duterte was just warning when he said he told the USA to prepare for abrogation of the VFA. White house officials have recently questioned the rising death toll in the country.

At the same time, Duterte describes his telephone conversation with Trump saying, "He was very nice, very courteous. So, in deference, I'll just wait". Considering his half-hearted description of Trump, it is hard to see what the President-elect could do to please Duterte.

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