PH-US ties stronger than Duterte’s expletives — Pimentel
President Rodrigo Duterte’s “expletives” are part of his language that should not affect the country’s relationship with other nations, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has said.
“Alam mo ang salita ng isang tao, lalo na kung expletives lang e alam naman nating part ng kanyang (Duterte) lengwahe yang expletives, hind po dapat ito makaapekto sa relationship ng mga bansa kasi hindi naman tayo ganyan kababaw,” Pimentel said in an interview Monday.
“May mga proseso, may mga thinkers, may mga policymakers, may mga professional diplomats so huwag kayong mag alala po. Let the President be himself and anyway, if this will damage the relationship, I’m confident that we can rehabilitate, we can fix the relationship.”
“Lalo na sa Amerika pa, napakatagal na po ng US-Philippine relations and then nakaparaming Filipino sa Amerika, marami din namang Amerikano sa Pilipinas at marami na silang naitulong sa atin just as tayo rin naman ay nakatulong din sa kanila,” the Senate leader added.
Pimentel’s remarks came hours after Duterte warned US President Barack Obaman not to lecture him about human rights and extrajudicial killings when they meet at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Vientiane, Laos.
“You must be respectful. You just don’t throw question and statements. Putang ina, mumurahin kita sa forum na yan (Son of a bitch, I’ll curse you in that forum),” Duterte was quoted by the media as saying.
“I do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines. Wala akong pakialam sa kanya (I don’t care about him). Who is he?” the President added, apparently referring to Obama.
Obama and Duterte were scheduled to meet this Tuesday until the US leader decided to call it off.
While he agreed that Duterte did not owe any president or prime minister of other countries any explanation, Pimentel said there was no harm if the Philippine leader would engage in a dialogue with other leaders.
The Senate leader believes that the two nations “cherish” their long standing relations./rga
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