UPDATE1: Philippines not yet asking U.S. troops to leave Mindanao: spokesman

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23:39 13 September 2016

MANILA, Sept. 13, Kyodo

The Philippine government said Tuesday it has yet to officially ask the U.S. military to withdraw its special forces from Mindanao, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants them out of the restive southern island as they are aggravating the situation there.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters that Duterte’s withdrawal call on Monday is “not automatically policy, but it is the basis of policy.”

“These were not directives to leave, okay?” Abella said, adding that “nobody acted on it yet.”

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