Duterte tells wor­ried for­eign busi­nesses to leave

Duterte tells wor­ried for­eign busi­nesses to ‘pack up and leave’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte yes­ter­day urged for­eign busi­nesses in the Philip­pines wor­ried about his deadly drug war to “pack up and leave”, as he launched another anti-Amer­i­can tirade be­fore fly­ing to Ja­pan to at­tract investments. Duterte voiced out­rage at com­ments made the pre­vi­ous day by the top US en­voy to Asia that his fiery rhetoric and crime war, which has claimed about 3,700 lives in four months, were bad for busi­ness.

“These Amer­i­cans are re­ally crazy. Their style is to walk here. They think they are some­bod­ies,” Duterte said, as he held up a news­pa­per with head­lines reporting the crit­i­cism from US as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state Daniel Rus­sel. “Rus­sel says ‘Duterte com­ments caus­ing wor­ries in busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties’. Then you pack up and leave. We will re­cover, I as­sure you.” Duterte then flew to Ja­pan, one of the top US al­lies in Asia, for a three-day visit that is partly aimed at build­ing on two-way trade of more than $18 bil­lion dol­lars last year.

“With Ja­pan as the Philip­pines’ top trad­ing part­ner, I shall seek the sus­tain­ment and fur­ther en­hance­ment of our im­por­tant eco­nomic ties,” Duterte, 71, said in pre­pared re­marks at Manila air­port. “I look for­ward to meet­ing busi­ness leaders in Ja­pan. I will tell them clearly that the Philip­pines is open for busi­ness.” Upon ar­rival in Tokyo, Duterte pro­ceeded to a ho­tel for an event with mem­bers of the lo­cal Filipino com­mu­nity. More than 100 of them wait­ing out­side gave him an en­thu­si­as­tic wel­come, call­ing his name and wav­ing small Philippine flags. A smil­ing Duterte ap­proached them and shook hands.

Duterte will meet with Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe and have an au­di­ence with Em­peror Ak­i­hito dur­ing the trip, which fol­lows his head­line-grab­bing state visit to China last week. Duterte, a self-pro­claimed so­cial­ist with close links to com­mu­nists, an­nounced in Bei­jing the Philip­pines’“sep­a­ra­tion” from the United States, throw­ing into doubt a 70-year al­liance that is an­chored on a mu­tual de­fense treaty. He quickly walked back from his com­ments af­ter re­turn­ing from China, say­ing “sep­a­ra­tion” did not mean he would “sever” ties and that the US al­liance would con­tinue. But his anti-Amer­i­can vit­riol also con­tin­ued.

Duterte said yes­ter­day he was not a “lap­dog” of the United States, and again voiced anger at Amer­i­can and Euro­pean crit­i­cism of ap­par­ent ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings on his watch. “You are a son of a whore,” he said re­fer­ring to his crit­ics. “Do not make us dogs. Do not. As if I am a dog with a leash and then you throw bread far away that I can­not reach.” Duterte has pre­vi­ously branded US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and told him to “go to hell”.

Rus­sel, the US en­voy, said af­ter meet­ing Philippine For­eign Sec­re­tary Per­fecto Yasay on Mon­day that many peo­ple around the world were be­com­ing in­creas­ingly wor­ried about Duterte’s tirades.

”The suc­ces­sion of con­tro­ver­sial state­ments, com­ments and a real cli­mate of un­cer­tainty about the Philip­pines’ in­ten­tions have cre­ated con­ster­na­tion in a num­ber of coun­tries,” Rus­sel said. “Not only in mine and not only among gov­ern­ments, but also growing con­cern in other com­mu­ni­ties, in the ex­pat Filipino com­mu­nity, in cor­po­rate board­rooms as well.” Ja­pan, which is wary of China’s ris­ing in­flu­ence in the re­gion, sig­naled it would be look­ing for clar­i­fi­ca­tion from Duterte about his for­eign pol­icy plans.

“It is im­por­tant to have good communication and to lis­ten di­rectly to what Mr Duterte has in mind,” Japanese For­eign Min­is­ter Fu­mio Kishida told re­porters when asked about the fire­brand leader’s com­ments on ties with Wash­ing­ton.

Abe had worked to im­prove bi­lat­eral re­la­tions with Duterte’s pre­de­ces­sor, Benigno Aquino. Ja­pan pro­vided pa­trol boats to sup­port the Philip­pines in its ter­ri­to­rial row with Bei­jing over ri­val claims to the South China Sea, as it sought back­ing in its own mar­itime dis­pute with China.

Aquino took Bei­jing to an in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal over its ex­ten­sive claims in the South China Sea-where it has built ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands ca­pa­ble of host­ing mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties-and the Philip­pines won a re­sound­ing vic­tory in July. But Duterte has sought not to use the ver­dict to anger China, in­stead worked to im­prove ties and at­tract bil­lions of dol­lars in Chi­nese loans and investments.— AFP

QUETTA: Pak­istani mourn­ers gather around the coffins of some of those killed in an at­tack on the Po­lice Train­ing Col­lege Balochis­tan in Quetta yes­ter­day. — AFP

Philippine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte

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