Americans—more precisely the US Central Intelligence Agency or its operatives—should be blamed if he faces an untimely death, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday.
Speaking at the relaunch of Malacañang’s new press briefing area, Duterte blamed the Virginia-based US civilian foreign intelligence service for the barrage of criticism surrounding his presidency, mainly brought about by the bloody war on illegal drugs that has seen thousands die since he took office.
“One day, I will just drive you away. It’s either they—your cahoots here—will have to kill me, or you have to get out of my country. Choose,” Duterte said.
“Basta ako sabihin ko sa Pilipino, ‘pag namatay ako, America na ‘yan. CIA na ‘yan (As for me, I’ll be telling Filipinos: if i die, it’s America [that’s behind it]. It’s the CIA),” he added.
On a related topic, the President said those who aim to topple his administration—referring mostly to his political opponents—should join forces against him.
“I would be happy really if they would start to merge into one command. Itong mga komunista at itong Liberal (These communists and Liberal Party members). At ito ‘yung iba na gustong paalisin ako. Mag-isa-isa na lang kayo, isang grupo [These others who want me out of office, should unite in one group],” Duterte said, responding to various criticisms concerning his and his family’s true state of wealth.
“I think you share the same ideological whatever para hindi na masyadong mag-kalat ang ano (so things won’t get scattered)—we can focus on all of you,” the President said.
Still, Duterte said he will not respond to various specific allegations being hurdled against him.
“This is no threat. I said it is my mandated duty to keep this country safe and sound,” he added.
Duterte reiterated his claim that some media organizations were being funded by the Americans to destabilize his government, including online news site Rappler—a claim the organization has repeatedly denied.
“It’s not the politicking dito. They will disappear overnight—CIA-funded (organizations like) NED, Rappler, ‘yung mga gano’n (all those things). And the Americans will realize to their sorrow that they have been too myopic in this thing,” Duterte said, responding to a question on fears there will be a “fissure” in Mindanao.
A top critic of his drug war, the New York-based Human Rights Watch, was being funded by American philanthropist and financier George Soros to paint him as a mass murderer, the President claimed.
“You keep on funding those—Soros is funding Human Rights Watch. So you think that you are the conscience of the people? That you are the right ones because you are the white? Excuse me. Are we talking of a monkey here or… Kung magsalita kayo, akala ninyo (You speak as if you know something)…”