By Genalyn Kabiling
Is the country’s defense chief a “spy “of the United States?
President Duterte apparently thinks so.
The President said in jest Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has become an “agent” of the US after staying there for a long period.
“Matagal na ‘yan sa America siya. Alam ko siya eh, agent ‘yan siya pero okay lang,
[He has been in America for so long. I know he’s an agent but that’s okay,” Duterte said during the Department of Justice anniversary rites last Tuesday night while sharing how his friendship with Lorenzana started.
Aware of his Cabinet member’s ties with Washington, the President even asked Lorenzana to send a message to the US that he has no disdain for them.
“Sabi ko kasi magbolahan naman kaming dalawa, eh ‘di ito sabihin mo sa kanila. Ako, many — many issues ako diyan sa ano [Since we are fooling ourselves, tell them this: I have many issues with them] but I do not hate America. I mean, I don’t… Wala akong dynamics sa mga tao [I have no dynamics with people],” he told Lorenzana, who was present during the DOJ event held at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Duterte instead warned the United States about the involvement of two international crime syndicates – Bamboo and 14K triads – in large-scale drug trafficking in Southeast Asia.
He said the Philippines has become a “transshipment hub” of illegal drugs to the US. He noted that the Americans are the “richest market” for illegal drugs, compared to the small market in the country.
“Kung maniwala ang America, mabuti. Kung hindi kayo maniwala, mabuti, basta sinabi ko sa inyo,” he said.