The Malacañang has clarified President Duterte’s claim of being protected by China’s Xi Jinping — saying it was ‘white’ people who are out to get him.
As we reported yesterday (Tuesday, May 15), the president claimed that the Chinese leader had told him that Beijing would not allow any bid to topple him.
“The assurances of Xi Jinping were very encouraging,” he said. “Eh, they are there. ‘We will not allow you to be taken out from your office, and we will not allow the Philippines to go to the dogs’.” The words have not been confirmed by Beijing.
Speaking to reporters today, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that his boss’s comments only meant that he had support from his Asian neighbours.
“Although he has massive support in the Philippines, there really are foreigners who are against him, especially the Westerners,” he said.
Asked whether there was a genuine threat of a coup, Roque clarified that the president was only “expressing his sentiments”.
“I don’t think so. He was just expressing his sentiments because it’s like he hasn’t heard anything good from the whites’,” he said.
The US and the EU have been critical of the Philippine administration following alleged extrajudicial killings linked to the war on drugs.
Last September, 39 member states of the UN expressed alarm over the rising “climate of impunity” in the Philippines.
Led by Iceland, the countries called on the Philippines “to cooperate with the international community to pursue appropriate investigations into these incidents, in keeping with the universal principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law”.
Then, in March, the Philippines voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for the protection and promotion of human rights amid the drug war.
In yesterday’s speech the president also repeated a false claim about a UN tribunal’s ruling on Philippine rights over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
He again said the Hague decision was issued during Aquino’s term. However, it was actually released on July 12, 2016, two weeks after Duterte took office.
“Aquino filed for arbitration, he won,” the president said. “From the time the arbitration award was handed down to the time that he was nearing his end, there was sufficient time for him to act and do something.”