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Duterte asks US not to store weapons in Philippine camps

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines asked the United States on Sunday not to store weapons in local camps under a defense pact, saying his country may get entangled if fighting erupts between China and the United States.

Duterte said in a news conference that he would consider abrogating a 2014 defense pact that allows US forces to temporarily station in designated Philippine camps if the Americans build weapon depots in those encampments.

‘‘They’re unloading arms in the Philippines now,’’ Duterte said, identifying three areas where US forces were supposedly bringing in their armaments, including the western Philippine province of Palawan, which faces the South China Sea.


‘‘I’m serving notice to the armed forces of the United States, do not do it, I will not allow it,’’ Duterte said in the televised news conference after meeting top military and police officials.

US officials did not immediately comment on Duterte’s remarks.

The brash-talking Philippine leader, who took office in June, has been antagonistic to the administration of former president Obama for raising concerns over Duterte’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs which has left thousands of suspected drug users and small-time dealers dead.

Duterte, who has moved to rebuild relations with China, has repeatedly threatened to scale back military exercises with American troops.