Duterte credits US, China
for aid in Marawi siege

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has recognized the United States and China for aiding the Philippines in its fight against Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City.

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“Let us give [credit]where credit is due. The United States helped the Armed Forces in this fight,” Duterte told Filipino-American tourists during the 11th Ambassadors’ Tour Philippine reception in Davao City on Friday.

The President then mentioned the first batch of firearms and ammunition that China delivered in late June.

“And China committed and delivered a lot of firearms for us,” Duterte said, adding Russia has also signified to extend assistance.

“I don’t know about Russia but [President Vladimir] Putin, sabi niya tutulong siya [he said he would also help],” he said.

Duterte said neither Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned that they would ask something in return for their help.

“Walang attachment diyan. Walang head of state, si Putin o si President Xi Jinping magsabi, ‘O, bigyan kita but you should be loyal’ [No attachments. Putin or Xi did not say, ‘I would give you this but you should be loyal’],” he said.

But Duterte also said the Philippines would abide by the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington while the country reached out to non-traditional allies.

“Welcome ko lahat ‘yan. Now, do not make the mistake of, you know, putting something on my behavior, I like talking to people. You have to make friends, and there is a need for you to acquire the kind of firearms at nandiyan sila,” he said.

“‘If you have this…’ ‘Yes, we can help you.” Ganon lang. So, meron tayong RP-US Military Pact, that was in 1950. Nandiyan pa ‘yan. So I cannot enter into military alliances with other nations because I would be violating the US-RP agreement,” he added.

The US provided technical support to the troops on the ground and China provided arms and ammunition worth P370 million.

Both countries also pledged to help rehabilitate Marawi City.

While highlighting America’s help in fighting IS-affiliated terrorists, the President took a swipe at former President Barack Obama for criticizing his war on drugs.

“Obama] talked publicly about me, and how I run this country. Sabi ko sa kanya, these are my exact words, ‘para wala kayong—‘p***** i** ka, l— ka. Do not tell me what to do, and do not just—you know—giving me admonition. I am not a federal postal employee, so if you want something, go to the United Nations, miyembro man kaya tayo. Then, you can talk there until kingdom come and file a case against me,’” he said.

“Tapos pumunta ako sa China. Pagkatapos last year, man of the year ako, ‘t— ina. Simple. If I have committed a wrong before your eyes, your estimation, that is your problem. I have my problems to solve,” the President added.

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