After the US announced it had sent in Special Forces to assist Manila in its fight against Islamist militants, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that he never asked for the help.
Manila's army is locked in a desperate struggle to dislodge an armed Islamist rebellion allied with Daesh that began on May 23 on the large southern island of Mindanao.
Duterte has refuted the long-term alliance between Washington and Manila, going so far as to call former US president Barack Obama a "son of a whore," vowing to close US bases in the island archipelago, and claiming that Russia and China will provide the only military and financial assistance his country needs.
A statement from within Duterte's administration noted that US forces are prohibited from engaging in combat in the country, adding, however, that "The fight against terrorism […] is not only the concern of the Philippines or the United States but it is a concern of many nations around the world."
"The Philippines is open to assistance from other countries if they offer it," according to the statement, cited by Reuters.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after Islamist fighters allied with Daesh seized the town of Marawi. The president claimed that under Philippines martial law he can control the country's military.
Some 300 have been killed in the fighting, including militants, Philippine army fighters and civilians. An estimated 250,000 people have been displaced in the ongoing battles.