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Duterte slams Mexico with Alan Cayetano seated beside envoy

Presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a speech at the Provincial Capitol of Rizal on Monday, March 7, 2016. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in a provincial sortie.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Mexican drug lord El Chapo (Joaquin Guzman) can now add another prominent name to his possible hit list: that of Davao City mayor and presidential aspirant Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte who, like United States presidential hopeful Donald Trump, made denigrating remarks about Mexico during a tourism event over the weekend.

In one of his earlier campaign speeches, Trump called for a ban on Mexican immigrants for being “rapists, and bringing crime and drugs to the US.”

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Doing The Donald one better (or worse), the tough-talking Duterte also scored Mexico for its criminality, even with the Mexican ambassador to the Philippines sitting on the front row.

“Bakit ka pa pupunta sa Mexico with all the kidnappings and killings (Why would you go to Mexico, with all those kidnappings and killings)?” Duterte said during the event organized by the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) on Friday afternoon.

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Awkward laughter

His speech resulted in awkward laughter as the crowd at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City noted that Mexican ambassador to the Philippines Julio Camarena Villaseñor was seated right next to Duterte’s running-mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Perhaps realizing his blunder, the presidential candidate added, “It could be Russia. It could be Egypt.”

Duterte, who was received like a rock star by throngs of supporters, came an hour and a half late for the tourism event, and attributed the delay to his late flight from Palawan province to Manila.  The mayor has gained notoriety for being habitually late in speaking engagements, and had once blamed “a lot of people wanting to have selfies” with him as being behind his tardiness.

The mayor’s speech centered on how the tourism industry would improve if peace and order were established in the country, and dovetailed with his vaunted platform of ridding the country of drug addiction and criminality within six months after taking office.

$7-million investment

Asked for his reaction to Duterte’s remarks about Mexico, Villaseñor said, “Mexico is the number one foreign investor in the Philippines… and is active in helping the (country).  We have done many agreements to promote tourism and cooperation.”

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His country has invested over $7 million in the Philippines and has helped the country’s inbound tourism, the envoy added.

Duterte, however, did not show any remorse after the event and said he had nothing to apologize for.”

“Totoo naman. I was telling the truth,” he said.

The mayor also did not hold back on his trademark expletives during the event, where he again hit the country’s problem with illegal drugs and criminality.

“People curse when they’re angry,” he said.  “I don’t hide my anger. I even cursed in front of a President,” Duterte said, recounting an incident when he gave an official a dressing down in front of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. TVJ

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Army ROTC Department of the New Mexico State University, Digong Duterte, Donald Trump, Duterte, Elections 2016, Julio Camarena Villaseñor, National Association of Independent Travel Agencies, Rodrigo Duterte
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