President Rodrigo Duterte will take the side of America in case the Filipinos are hurt by the ongoing tensions between the US and Middle East countries Iran and Iraq.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said this yesterday as the Philippines prepares to evacuate OFWs in the Middle East.
Panelo said Duterte would not take it for granted if Filipinos are harmed and that he is merely releasing a “friendly caution” to Iran.
“Duterte ‘will not sit down idly’ if Filipinos are harmed, and is simply issuing a ‘friendly caution’ to Iran, which he earlier said is ‘hell-bent’ on seeking revenge against the US,” Panelo said.
Iran has threatened to retaliate with the death of top military leader Qassem Soleimani, and the Iranian general’s son insists that his father’s death will serve as the ‘darker days’ of the US and Israel.
Duterte to side with US if Filipinos are harmed in Middle East tensions
“Hindi tayo magiging neutral (We will not be neutral). The President was very specific in saying last night that if the Filipinos are harmed, he will side with the Americans,” explained Panelo.
“Nababahala siya sa kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan. Kumbaga sinasabi niya ‘uy, hindi kami kasali diyan ah,’” Panelo added.
(He is concerned about the safety of our countrymen. He says, ‘hey, we’re not in that ah.’)
Earlier, the President immediately sent Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to the Middle East to prepare for a possible evacuation of Filipinos there.
The President also called on Presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers Abdullah Mamao to travel to Iran and Iraq to convey Duterte’s call on them to avoid Filipinos getting harmed in the ongoing conflict.