Duterte chides US in front of its envoy

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte took another jab Monday at the United States (US), but this time, in front of new US-ambassador designate to the Philippines Sung Kim.

At the Christmas town hall gathering for the Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan Sulu project, Duterte said it was an "insult" when the US aid agency deferred its assistance to the Philippines merely because of its concerns over drug-related deaths.

"With due respect to the Ambassador of the United States, [when] you're dealing with Asians, be careful of your language. You cannot do that to the Japanese and to the Koreans and to them. They feel insulted. Why do you have to say, 'We will cut your aid?'" Duterte said.

"When you say, 'We will not give you because of this [drug-related killings, we] were pictured as someone starving to death. 'You're dead because you're hungry. We don't care if you're dead because of starvation.' It's actually a slur," he added.

Duterte said the Filipinos' dignity was hurt when the US has to cut its assistance because of the alleged human rights violation perpetrated in nearly six months since he assumed office.

"Just because there are human rights violation, you would say you wouldn't have this. We do not need it. Why do you have to say, 'They will lose assistance'? It is actually an insult," he said.

Kim, who was present at the event, was seen smiling awkwardly while the President was ranting against the Americans.

Last Saturday, Duterte also lambasted the US but took exceptions to US President-elect Donald trump and Kim.

Despite accusation that his administration is allowing extrajudicial killings in the country, Duterte maintained that he is not tolerating the state forces to perform unlawful acts.

"If you do not agree with me, fine. I will not take it against you but do not engage me in the question of law. I know what I'm doing. I never declared police punitive action," the President said.

"Right from the start, I said, I'm going to wage a war because the casualty now is four million. Do I need another year and be afraid of human rights and all of these things?" he added.

If international community sees something wrong in his drug war, Duterte said it could file a case before the United Nations (UN) instead of withholding aid to the country.

"We're members of the UN, correct? Okay, you guys put your complaint there for the violations of the laws. Then, whatever happens there, the human rights commission can investigate. If they have their findings, they can present it to the plenary and then they can come to me, confront me," Duterte said. (Sunnex)

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