Duterte again accuses CIA of wanting him dead and bugging his phone

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CIA
Duterte addressing an audience of government officials in Cebu today. During the speech, he accused the CIA of bugging his communications.

President Duterte has again claimed the CIA wants to kill him and has accused the US spy agency of bugging his telephone conversations.

Speaking at a government conference in Cebu today (Tuesday, August 21), he said: “I know, the US is listening. I’m sure it’s the CIA. It’s also the one who will kill me.”

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He made a similar claim during a speech in Davao last week, when he said: “I was looking at the TV intently because I want to emphasise to the Americans. There were CIA agents now. Reports said they wanted me dead. Go ahead… be my guest… after all, this country will remain the way it is.”

In his speech today, he also suggested that “Russia, China, Israel and maybe Indonesia” were also eavesdropping on him.

The president also said his security aides had warned him against using an up-to-date smartphone, as they are more prone to interception. He said security personnel instead suggested that he use a basic cellphone.

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The 73-year-old head of state admitted that he was not tech-savvy as he “cannot learn anymore”. As an example, he described how he once accidentally hit the “send all” feature while using the messaging app Viber.

He then went on to criticise the recent comments of US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver. During a visit to Manila last week, Schriver had spoken against Manila’s plan to get military hardware, including submarines, from Russia.

According to Schriver, when a country buys weapon systems, “you’re not just buying capability, you’re investing in a relationship”. 

In response today, the president said: “Look I do not have a quarrel with America. But I have certainly dynamics with the State Department and the other officials because America seems to be in a hypocritical stage always. It’s double speak.” 

He then complained about how the US sells or donates refurbished military equipment to the Philippines, while China and Russia offer brand-new ones and without conditions.

“Relations? When was it really a relation of mutuality and respect?”

He also blasted another Western country, Canada, for holding off Manila’s purchase of $233 million worth of helicopters due to human rights concerns.

Criticising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the bungled deal, he said the Canadian leader did not understand the situation that the Philippines was dealing with.

He explained that the Philippines needed the choppers for legitimate military operations because there were rebels “out to overthrow my government.”

“If you cannot understand, you should not be there in your mighty post,” he said.

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