Philippine defense chief: Duterte’s China visit not ’cause of concern’

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philippine defense chief duterte’s china visit not 'cause of concern'

Gilbert Teodoro, the incumbent Secretary of National Defense of Philippines, has said that former President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent visit to the People’s Republic of China is not a “cause of concern.”

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday, Gilbert Teodoro said that Duterte’s recent visit to China did not mean anything serious. He further said that Duterte’s trip was “nothing new.”

The President of China, Xi Jinping, called on a former Philippine president to “play an important role” in promoting ties between China and the Philippines. 

Last week, the Chinese president welcomed the former president to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, the capital of China. Duterte visited China on the eve of the International Criminal Court’s decision to reject the Philippine government’s appeal to stop the investigations into his campaign against illegal drugs during his tenure as the prime minister.

During his presidency, Duterte tried to improve relations with China. The Chinese president said that Duterte put bilateral relations “back on the right track” to prosper. 

During Duterte’s recent visit to China, the Chinese president said, “I hope you will continue to play an important role in the friendly cooperation between the two countries.”

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Duterte served as the 16th president of the Philippines from 2016 to 2022. During his presidency, he launched his “war on drugs” campaign and urged police to “kill” drug suspects. Reportedly, it led to at least 6,252 killings. However, human rights groups claimed that up to 30,000 may have been killed. Duterte has repeatedly denied such allegations. 

Recently, Duterte dismissed the ICC ruling and said that only Philippines courts can hear crime cases committed in the country.

Gilbert Teodoro reportedly said in the interview, “Former president Duterte’s visit to China is not unexpected nor is it a cause for concern. The former president is a former president. He should be treated with respect and dignity.”

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