PH, Israel sign $82.9M in investment deals during business forum
JERUSALEM — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday flew to Jordan on a high note after bagging $82.9 million in new investment agreements during his official visit to Israel.
The deals included the distribution of Century canned tuna products within the Israeli and Palestinian Authority, creation of a local facility to manufacture weapons, promotion of tactical vehicles, and development of military and intelligence products and hardware, officials said.
These were signed during the President’s forum with Israeli businessmen on Tuesday and expected to generate 790 jobs.
Speaking at the King David Hotel, the President said he was not a dictator and invited the businessmen to invest in the Philippines.
He devoted much of his speech to explaining his brutal crackdown on drugs that has drawn international condemnation.
He received a generally warm welcome from the government but was greeted with protests outside the Israeli presidential residence.
“Do not believe in that thing that I am there to be a dictator. I will go down on the day my term ends,” he said.
The President said he was facing “many troubles,” including human rights groups condemning his war on drugs, but he made it clear he is a Christian and believes in the sanctity of life.
“I can never tolerate banditry, the Isis thing of just killing people children and all,” he said, adding: “I only kill criminals. And if you ask me now, yes I do.”
The Philippine leader told the audience that if they found difficulty in doing business in Manila, they could set a meeting with him “even in the middle of the night.”
He said he would “slap” those who extorted from them.
The President will be on an official visit to Jordan on the invitation of King Abdullah II.
He will meet with the king on Thursday at the Al Huseinieh Palace Courtyard and Jordanian businessmen at a forum later. —With a report from AP
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