President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his position that he has no plan to visit the United States during his term and even thereafter.
Responding to media question during an ambush interview as he was leaving early Friday evening after he spoke at the Davao Investment Conference in SMX Convention Center in Davao City, Duterte said that he had already made his earlier position on the issue.
He said he had decided that during the time when he was “crucified and castigated by the Obama administration”.
That time, Duterte was just new sitting president while Obama was outgoing, but even then the latter criticized Duterte for alleged human rights violations in his war on drugs, which had just then taken off for few months.
Duterte was asked if he would still go the U.S. even if there is an invitation from President Donald Trump.
He replied: “You guys must be dreaming, I was already asked of that question when I was being crucified and castigated by the Obama administration… and this is exactly what I said, there will never be a time that I’ll go to America during my term and even thereafter.”
He said that it was captured by media TV footages and “that statement was aired with air of sarcasm.”
He added: “Ako tapos na ako dyan. I’ve seen America and it’s lousy.”
Duterte then went acerbic to reply to the charges of human rights violations that are currently under investigation by some lawmakers in U.S. Congress.
He countered that it is the U.S. which has many human rights violations and “it’s good that the U.S. Congress starts first to investigate its own human rights violations on its war in Middle East.”
“Why a hospital was burned there with all their sophisticated technology? Before you start to investigate me, you should first investigate that, otherwise I’ll be forced to investigate you also,” he said.
He threatened that if the U.S. Congress starts to investigate him for human rights violations, he would also start investigating the U.S. human rights violations in the massacre of thousands of Moro people during the colonial times and expose it to the world.
“I can do what you can do, ten times over,” said the president as he left the venue.
On Thursday Congressmen James McGovern and Randy Hultgren, co-chairmen of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress conducted their first hearing in Washington DC on “human rights consequences” of Duterte’s war on drugs.
Malacañang responded by asking the involved US lawmakers for due process considering “all sides” of the issue. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)