President Rodrigo Duterte made this remark, referring to reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wants him dead.
“Sabi nila pa-plano-plano raw ang CIA na patayin ako. Susmaryosep, ginoo,” Duterte said with a straight face as he discussed before the Filipino community in Hanoi Wednesday night how he would not allow a war with China over disputed waters in the South China Sea.
In jest, the President eventually asked the CIA to give him more time to get used to being a President.
“Bigyan mo muna ako ng panahon mag-isip [bilang] Presidente,” Duterte said before moving on to another topic.
Duterte also said that the Philippines’ joint military exercises with the US in October will be the last under his administration.
While saying that he would honor the Philippines’ treaty obligations with the country’s most influential ally and the world’s only remaining superpower, Duterte in another speech indicated that he was opening lines with Russia and China
Before briefly mentioning the alleged threat from the US’ intelligence agency, Duterte said he would not abandon the favorable ruling made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Philippines’ case against China’s excessive claims in the South China Sea.
The President added that it was not the time to confront China’s military with the tribunal’s ruling especially if the battleground will be in the archipelago.
“I am not ready to commit the soldiers of this country just to be massacred and besides -- besides t___ ina, ang battleground, ang Palawan? Naloko na,” Duterte said.
“Eh kung dalhin natin doon sa San Francisco okay ako. [laughter] Oo, ‘yung China, mamili kayo diyan,” he added.
“Hindi natin kaya ang China so sabi ko -- even with the help of America. So we talk,” Duterte said.
Earlier, the President said that the US disliked him, the same way it disliked Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and Bashar al-Assad of Syria.