President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would have to decline the invitation of US President Donald Trump to visit the United States in March for the US-Association of Southeast Nations summit.
“I just received an invitation to go to the United States together with the ASEAN leaders. I haven’t been to the States,” Duterte said in an interview early this week by Russia’s state-owned media outlet, RT.
Earlier, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the Chief Executive worries if the US would grant him a visa or allow him to enter the country.
“He said, one, he has to ponder over it. Why? Some US senators would be unhappy seeing him there, because he is supposed to be number one on the list,” Panelo said in a press briefing.
He also added, “Sabi niya, ‘I do not even know if US will issue me a visa. And if I’m issued a visa, I do not know if when I arrived in the States I would be allowed entry.’”
In an interview, Duterte mentioned former US President Barack Obama’s administration who also raised their concern over the country’s controversial and bloody war on drugs campaign.
Several US lawmakers have also extended concerns on the human rights issues against Duterte’s war on drugs with one American congressman suggesting that the Philippine leader should not be invited to the White House, the official residence and workplace of the US president.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Duterte threatened to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States following the US visa cancellation of one of his ally, Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa.