Senator Antonio Trillanes IV apologized this Saturday, October 22 for calling President Rodrigo Duterte a communist. This is after the president said in his speech in China that he is separating himself from the US. His statement shook the world, and earned mixed reactions. Nevertheless, he elaborated it further when he returned back to the Philippines.
“Your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States, both in military but economics also. So please you have another problem of economics in my country,” President Duterte said this Thursday, October 20, during his third day of visit to China, while attending Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum in Beijing.
Hours after attending the forum, President Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. and was greeted with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People. The meeting resulted to a a total of $24 billion of investment and loans from China. But back home, Liberal Party (LP) senators criticized his announcement of separation from the US.
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“If he thinks like a communist, talks like a communist, frees the communists, and appoints the communists, then he MUST be a communist.” Sen. Trillanes said in a statement on his official Facebook page also this Friday. He has been one of the biggest critics of President Duterte, especially on the issue of extrajudicial killings in Davao during the Senate hearing.
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But this Saturday, during a press conference in Davao City upon his arrival from China, President Duterte clarified that he just want to implement an independent foreign policy for the Philippines. This time, the two LP senators had a different reaction. Sen. De Lima said she got more confused, while Sen. Trillanes apologized for his earlier remarks.
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“I sincerely apologized for calling the president (Duterte) a communist. That was a momentary lapse of judgment on my part. I now fully understand what he was trying to say.” Sen. Trillanes wrote on Facebook this Saturday afternoon. However, the post has been deleted a few hours later, probably because of the tons of negative comments.