“The special forces, they have to go. They have to go in Mindanao. If they see an American, they would kill him. They would demand ransom then kill him… I could not speak then out of respect and I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” Duterte said as quoted in The Philippine Star newspaper.
US-Philippines relationships are currently at a low point as Washington has condemned alleged extrajuridical killings of people suspected of being involved with drug-related activities in the Philippines.