America drove me to China - Pres. Duterte

America drove me to China - Pres. Duterte

It was the United States of America’s fault.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his speaking engagement during the mass oath-taking of newly elected officers of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) in Malacañang,in Malacañangsaid he had to go to China even if he did not know how to deal with them because America left him (with) no choice.

Duterte had to go to China at the start of his term when two US legislators labeled him as a human rights violator and when they blocked the Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) purchase of firearms from a US gun manufacturer.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(photo credit to owner)

“I was not that resourceful because mayor lang ako noon (I was just a mayor back then). I did not even know how to deal with China because there was this ruckus between Aquino and China and they never really even glanced at us,” the Chief Executive explains.

“At that time, it was also because of the Americans, they created the reason for me to go to China. And I went there to make friends,” he added.

Duterte  reiterates that it was also in this time he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he would like for the Philippines to dig for oil in the West Philippine Sea but the latter advised him against it because doing so may cause trouble in the disputed waters.

When the Chines President made the warning, Duterte said he “shifted to another topic” and ask for assistance because the US did not allow firearms bought by the Philippines in the US be transferred.

“So you know I need these guns because the Americans had embargoed the things that I ordered,” Duterte recalled telling Xi.

Duterte further explains that the US started to doubt him when he started to develop a relationship with China.

“And we started to talk immediately about assistance, including the arms. Ito, one meeting led to another. And you have this working relationship with China now. Eh ang problema ‘yung mga Amerikano nagdududa sa akin (Now the problem is America is now doubting me),” Duterte said.

“Look, you practically drove me into the waiting arms of the Chinese government. You were the ones responsible, you had two congressmen there who took the floor in US Congress to denounce me as a violator of human rights and everything. At hindi ninyo — pinigil ninyo ‘yung armas (And you stopped the purchase of arms),” he added.

The Chief Executive also said this is the same reason he started a robust relationship with Russia.

“To this day, I’d like to say this to the Americans, to this day, ni hindi sila naghingi ng bayad ng utang ng loob, ni toothpick wala. Magdududa sila (they never asked for anything in return, not even a toothpick. Now they’re doubting me),” he said.

US is enough, no more

Duterte said not open to make another military alliance with another country.

“We have this treaty with America and it would be a violation of the Constitution if I get another one,” Duterte said.
“So tama na ‘yan. Ano ba namang treaty-treaty? Alam mo sabi ko (So that’s enough because we already have one. I said), you know we don’t need a treaty. But you have my solemn promise that I will never allow any foreign troops. Hindi lang Amerikano sabi ko (Not just Americans). I will never allow them in my land,” he added.

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Report from Manila Bulletin

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