Duterte doesn’t ‘feel like’ sending ambassador to US

Pia Ranada
Duterte doesn’t ‘feel like’ sending ambassador to US

jonCELI

'Walang ambassador na pupunta sa US. I don't feel like sending one,' says President Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on sending an ambassador to the United States, amid issues surrounding US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Walang tayong ambassador. Walang ambassador na pupunta doon. Hanggang wala tayong ambassador sa States, I don’t feel like sending one,” said Duterte on Thursday, February 2, during a speech in Davao City.

(We have no ambassador. We don’t have an ambassador going there. Until we don’t have an ambassador in the States, I don’t feel like sending one.)

The Philippine embassy in Washington DC is currently headed by Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto. Duterte had picked chief Palace protocol officer Marciano Paynor to be the next US ambassador.

But Paynor has been asked to stay in the Philippines first to head the Association of Southeast Asian Nations National Organizing Committee.

In his Thursday speech, Duterte again ranted about how the United States has called him out for his controversial “war on drugs.”

He again gave an impersonation of Trump who, he claims, is supportive of his campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte’s pronouncements about not sending an ambassador to the US comes after he earlier said he won’t “interfere” with Trump’s controversial immigration policies. 

He has said Filipino immigrants staying in the US illegally will have to answer to US laws.

There are an estimated 3.5 million Filipinos in the US as of December 2013, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. At least a million are undocumented.

Filipino Americans are said to be the second largest group among Asian Americans, says the Pew Research Center– 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.