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Duterte not keen on accepting EU invitation to Brussels

February 12, 2018 ·  By Pia Ranada for www.rappler.com

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‘What am I supposed to do there? Ask me a question, insultuhin ‘nyo ako, eh putahin ko kayo lahat doon,’ says Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

PH-EU TIES. President Rodrigo Duterte and European Council President Donald Tusk join hands at the ASEAN-European Union 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in November 2017. Malacañang file photo

PH-EU TIES. President Rodrigo Duterte and European Council President Donald Tusk join hands at the ASEAN-European Union 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in November 2017. Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Expecting to be insulted if he visits Europe, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not keen on accepting the invitation of the European Union (EU) to attend a summit in Brussels in October.

“[European Council President Donald] Tusk himself, the Commission and the Council invited me to Brussels. For what? If your opinion of me was like that, why change your assessment of my person?” said Duterte on Tuesday, February 6.

He was speaking at the anniversary of the National Economic and Development Authority.

“What am I supposed to do there? Ask me a question, insultuhin ‘nyo ako, eh putahin ko kayo lahat doon (you insult me then I will mess with all of you there),” said a miffed Duterte.

The EU invited Duterte to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) set to take place on October 18 and 19 this year.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen previously said this could be Duterte’s opportunity to “develop his understanding of Europe and what we’re doing in Europe.” (READ: Behind the scenes, PH scrambles to mend EU ties)

“We are not spending all our time criticizing the Philippines,” said Jessen back in January.

After rebuffing the EU invitation, Duterte said there is a “standing invitation” from United States President Donald Trump to visit America.

But he said he is still not keen on accepting the invitation given the opposition of certain American lawmakers to his visit to the White House.

“You know, guys, you are too presumptuous. Whoever told I will go visit you in that place?” said Duterte.

Duterte has hurled curse words and even flashed his middle finger at EU officials critical of his drug war, his bid to reinstate the death penalty, and the continued incarceration of one of his fiercest critics, Senator Leila de Lima.

He has rejected hundreds of millions of pesos worth of aid from the EU. Observers worry that the Philippines could lose trade perks from the regional bloc because of alleged human rights violations in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. – Rappler.com

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