Duterte assails U.S. for strict visa policy
BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday slammed the United States for its restrictive visa policy for Filipinos.
Speaking to the Filipino community in Beijing, Mr. Duterte also hit the United States for its stand against extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs.
Mr. Duterte spoke about his effort to get a visa to visit his girlfriend in the United States when he was in college.
He said the US consul asked him: What if you decide to marry and stay there?
“[I said] Mr. Consul, even if you offer me free missiles for a lifetime and even if you offer me $10,000, I’ll still return to my country and be a Filipino,” he said, drawing applause from his audience.
Why not reciprocal?
“But the Americans can enter the Philippines anytime without visa. Why? Why don’t we make it reciprocal?” he said.
Mr. Duterte noted that there were about 300,000 Filipinos working in China and China was “very kind” to them, as long as they don’t commit crimes.
He said he would not intervene if China would impose capital punishment on people found guilty of drug trafficking because under his administration the death penalty was being “carried out right in the streets.”
More than 3,000 drug suspects have been killed by police and vigilantes since Mr. Duterte launched his merciless war on drugs upon taking office on June 30.
READ: THE KILL LIST
Time to ‘say goodbye’
Mr. Duterte said China could fill the void to be left by the United States in building or financing infrastructure projects.
“No more American interference. No more American exercises,” he said.
“So it’s about time to say goodbye, my friend. Your stay in my country was for you own benefit,” he added. TVJ
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