Duterte doesn’t ‘feel like sending’ a Philippine envoy to US
By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated February 2, 2017 - 11:03pm
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In this June 30, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte makes his way to the podium at his inauguration at Malacañan. On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2016, Duterte said he is not inclined to appointing a Philippine ambassador to the United States. PPD
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is not inclined to appoint a Philippine envoy to the US as he assailed Washington anew for supposedly pitting the Philippines against China.
“In the US, we have no ambassador. No ambassador will go there. Until now, we do not have an ambassador in the United States. I don’t feel like sending one,” the president said during a convention of the Philippine Association of Water Districts Thursday in Davao City.
Protocols chief Ambassador Marciano Paynor was initially considered as Philippine ambassador to the US. His appointment did not push through as he was tasked to help in the preparations for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meet.
Duterte then named The STAR columnist Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez for the post but he declined due to health reasons.
The Philippines’ relationship had had a rocky relationship with the US since Duterte assumed office last June 30. Duterte has criticized the US government for supposedly meddling with his crackdown on illegal drugs and for supposedly embarrassing him before the international community.
Duterte claimed that the US is using the Philippines in its proxy war against China.
“I went to China now you keep on pushing us assert assert assert. It creates a friction… (tell them) get out, dismantle or I’ll come there with my Coast Guard and Navy,” the president said.
“You go out picking fights. What do you think will happen to this country? It’s a massacre,” he added.
“The missiles there in Spratlys can hit Cagayan de Oro, Pampanga and Palawan. So you want go to war by what? By proxy? Where is the battleground? The Republic of the Philippines.”
Duterte said that while he wants to boost ties with China, he would eventually bring up the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea maritime dispute that favored the Philippines.
“There will be a time during my term when we will have to talk about the arbitral judgment,” he said.
“Now that our ties are improving, why do I have to go to war?”