MANILA -  The Philippines announced Friday it had officially informed the United States that joint patrols in the South China Sea patrols had been suspended, following orders from President Rodrigo Duterte.

"They have been suspended for the time being. They (Washington) know it already," Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters, adding he had relayed the decision to the commander of the US Pacific Command when he was in Hawaii at the start of this month.

Still, Lorenzana indicated he was still not 100 percent sure of Duterte's final plans. "They will not be conducted anymore until we clarify if he (Duterte) means what he says," Lorenzana said.

The longtime allies began planning joint patrols under the previous Philippine government, which had sought to attract a greater US military presence in the region to counter Chinese efforts to take control of the South China Sea.

China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters close to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, and has in recent years built artificial islands in the disputed areas that are capable of hosting military bases.

Lorenzana said the United States and Philippines had conducted two "passing through" manoeuvres over the section of the sea claimed by Manila this year, but not actual "combat patrols".

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday dared the United States' CIA spy agency to try and oust him, as he branded Western critics of his deadly crime war "animals" and vowed many more killings.

In two fiery speeches to mark his 100 days in office, Duterte repeatedly raised the prospect of local or foreign opponents seeking to remove him from power in an effort to stop the violence.

But he insisted he would not be intimidated and that his campaign against drugs, in which an average of more than 33 people a day are being killed, would not end.

"You want to oust me? You want to use the CIA? Go ahead," Duterte said in a speech in his southern home town of Davao city, referring to the Central Intelligence Agency, while railing against US President Barack Obama and other critics. Last month Duterte accused the CIA of plotting to kill him, but gave no specifics.

Also on Friday he referred to a local newspaper columnist who warned a "People Power" movement could form to try and topple Duterte, using the term coined for the revolution that overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. "Be my guest. I don't give a shit," he said.

"I'll be ousted? Fine. (If so) it's part of my destiny. Destiny carries so many things. If I die, that's part of my destiny. Presidents get assassinated."

Duterte was elected in a landslide this year mainly on a pledge to eradicate illegal drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.

Since taking office on June 30, police have killed 1,523 people and 1,838 others have died in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures.

A poll released this week showed Filipinos overwhelmingly approved of Duterte's first 100 days as president.

But rights groups have warned extrajudicial killings are out of control, with shadowy assassins murdering drug addicts, traffickers, petty criminals and opponents of powerful figures.

Duterte insists police are only killing in self-defence and the unexplained deaths are mainly due to drug gangs suddenly fighting each other.

Duterte fuelled international concerns last week when he said he was "happy to slaughter" three million drug addicts, as he likened his campaign to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's efforts to exterminate Jews.

He later apologised for the Hitler reference, but said he was "emphatic" about wanting to kill millions of addicts.

Duterte, who began his six-year term on June 30, quickly shredded Aquino's strategy on China, seeking co-operation and dialogue with Beijing while diluting the Philippines' alliance with the United States.

He also repeatedly railed against the Philippines' former colonial ruler for criticising his war on crime, which has claimed more than 3,300 lives and raised concerns about extrajudicial killings.

"I have lost my respect for America," Duterte said on Tuesday, as he threatened to break ties completely with the United States.

Duterte had previously branded US President Barack Obama a "son of a whore".

He had also said he wanted US Special Forces out of the southern region of Mindanao, where they have been helping to quell militants, and threatened to scrap a 2014 agreement granting American troops increased access to Philippine bases.

Duterte also said he would cancel all 28 military exercises the two sides hold annually.

However, until Friday, officials from both sides had said Duterte's pronouncements were not necessarily policy.

US officials had repeatedly said they had not been officially informed of Duterte's comments.

So the announcement that the joint patrols had been suspended was the first public confirmation that one of Duterte's anti-US comments had become policy.

Lorenzana said none of the other Duterte pronouncements had been officially delivered to the Americans.

But he did say the Philippines was planning to eject the US forces in the southern Philippines in the "near future", as he disclosed details of their normally secretive activities.

The US Special Forces began short-term deployments in 2002 to train Filipino troops in how to counter militants, with the American personnel peaking at about 600 before the operation was scaled down in 2014.

"There are actually very few of them (now), just about 157 people," Lorenzana said, adding they were stationed inside a large military camp on the outskirts of Zamboanga city on the main southern island of Mindanao.

"All they do is operate their drones and some intelligence equipment to help our troops in the south."

He said the drones flew over the militant strongholds of the Basilan and Sulu island groups, as well as central Mindanao where another small armed group had pledged alliance to the Islamic State group.

Lorenzana said those US forces would be asked to leave when the Philippines acquired its own drones.

"The president said that he doesn't want them to leave immediately but maybe in the near future," Lorenzana said.