Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte (C) signs a guestbook during his visit at the Philippine Marines headquarters in Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 September 2016. The president of the Philippines will pursue closer relations with China and Russia amid deteriorating ties with its historical ally, the United States, local media reported. Rodrigo Duterte announced his intention to soon visit China, with whom the Philippines is engaged in a conflict over the sovereignty of several islets in the South China Sea, to boost trade ties.

The Philippines has told the US that joint patrols in the South China Sea are suspended and says it can "live without" the country's financial aid, the Philippine defence chief said Friday.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the US and Philippines have so far conducted two naval exercises in the disputed seas, but there will be no more planned.

"When (President Rodrigo Duterte) said there will be no more patrols, we already informed our counterparts that there are no more patrols in the meantime," he told reporters in Manila.

"We suspended it first," he added. "They know it already."

Lorenzana also said his military can "live without" financial aid from the US and would instead approach lawmakers to ask for a bigger budget to fill in the shortfall.

"Our Congress is giving us money now. I believe they will be giving us more if we have no source of funds," he said.

Lorenzana said there was truth to the assessment by the country's foreign secretary that the US had "failed us" especially in efforts to boost the military’s capabilities.

"We have been allies since 1951, all we got from that time until (1992) are all hand me downs, no new equipment," he said. "The Americans failed to beef up our capabilities to be at par with what is happening in the region."

Philippine President Duterte has recently warned he might "break up" with the US as he seeks to realign the country's foreign policy and end the Philippines' dependence on America.

He has also said he wants over 100 US troops deployed in the southern region of Mindanao to leave, and that he would scrap the countries' 28 annual joint military exercises.

On Thursday, Duterte said the Philippines would not beg for assistance from countries that have criticized his administration’s war against illegal drugs, in which at least 1,523 people have been killed in police operations since July 1.

"I do not expect human rights (groups), I do not expect (US President Barack) Obama, I do not expect the EU to understand me," he said. "If you think it's high time for you to withdraw assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it."

Related stories

Latest news

Brexit fears plague locals and expats alike in southern Spain

As Britain's departure from the EU approaches, the anxiety is most palpable on Spain's Costa del Sol, where so many Britons live. What will happen to the economy if the expats one day have to leave?

Reports: 12 injured as car runs into crowd at New Orleans parade

Twelve people were injured Saturday in the US city of New Orleans when a car struck a crowd watching a parade, local media reported.

"Moonlight" big winner at independent film awards

The coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" won six prizes including best feature at the 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, claiming the Hollywood spotlight on the eve of the Oscars.

Trump: I won't attend White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that he does not plan to attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year.

US Democratic Party chooses Tom Perez to be next party chief

The US Democratic Party elected former labour secretary Tom Perez as its next party chief at a meeting in Atlanta on Saturday.

73-year-old man dies after car ramming in Germany

A 73-year-old male pedestrian died from his injuries after being run over when a car rammed into people in the south-western town of Heidelberg, police said Saturday.

Syrian government vows retribution for Homs attacks that killed 42

The Syrian government vowed retribution for synchronized attacks on Saturday in Homs City that left 42 security personnel dead and reportedly involved up to six suicide bombers.

Between 250,000 and 300,000 Croatians suffer from rare diseases

Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28, was marked in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg Square on Saturday.

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot a man who rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's al-Sissi orders cabinet to help Christians fleeing Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.