Duterte: China-funded rehab facility almost complete

Pia Ranada
Duterte: China-funded rehab facility almost complete

Manman Dejeto

After citing China's assistance, Duterte blasts the United States and European Union for not being as helpful

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte cited China’s assistance in helping build a “dormitory” for drug addicts in Nueva Ecija while blasting the United States and European Union for not being as helpful.

“It is only China helping us. I requested the miitary to open their accounts to allow people who would want to donate rehab houses. China is about to complete, walang hambog, walang news, it’s about to be completed,” said Duterte on Friday, October 7, during the Banana Congress in Davao City.

The rehabilitation facility is to stand in Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. According to Duterte, it will be able to house 1,400 drug addicts.

The Palace earlier said 4 rehab centers would be built in military camps in 2016. In mid-September, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial flew to China to sign a deal for the construction of a 10,000-bed “mega” treatment and rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay.

Duterte compared China’s supposed helpfulness to the critical attitude of the US and EU towards his administration.

US President Barack Obama and members of the European Parliament have issued statements on their concern over his drug war. 

“You, instead of helping us, you know very well that I entered the presidency midterm and I was operating now my budget that is not mine,” said Duterte, his way of explaining why the country still lacks drug rehab centers.

On top of the criticism, Duterte claims the EU has threatened to cut developmental aid from the Philippines.

“You’ve been threateneing to cut aids and everything. Who do you think you are? Without your aid, fine, we will survive. But do not threaten me…son of a gun,” said an incensed Duterte.

As for the US, Duterte repeated his decision to end US-Philippines war games, but said doing so does not mean putting an end to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which both countries signed.

“The war games is not part of EDCA,” he said, saying he was informed of this by “lawyers.”

But Duterte, still smarting from Obama reminding him of possible human rights violations in his drug war, reminded the US that their presence in Manila led to the city’s destruction during World War II.

“In the Battle of Manila, 200,000 Filipinos died because you were here,” he said.

Duterte again said he does not mind severing ties with the US in the future.

“For as long as I am there, do not treat us like a doormat because you’ll be sorry for it. I will not stick with you. I can always go to China… I have met [Russian Prime Minister] Medvedev during the summit,” he said.

Duterte also lectured Obama on how to best call his attention to concern on human rights violations. (READ: Duterte’s advice to critics: Don’t lecture me in public)

Duterte suggested Obama wait for a UN report on extrajudicial killings before making any statements.

“Ask them to investigate and to make a report and that is the time you call my attention. Get it?” said the Philippine President.

He previously invited the UN, the EU, and US President Obama to come to the Philippines to do their own investigation of the unlawful killings. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.