MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to file a diplomatic protest against the United States for its intelligence report that listed President Rodrigo Duterte as among Southeast Asian leaders who pose a threat to democracy and human rights.
“Unang-una, mag-ano ng protesta ‘yong DFA kasi, anong pakialam nila sa atin, di ba? Sila nga itong maraming kalokohan sa iba’t ibang bansa,” Alvarez said in a radio interview when asked to comment on the report, whose unclassified version was released by the U.S. last February 12 and a PDF copy is available online.
On the contrary, Alvarez said it is the US which poses a threat to democracy because of its interference in the internal affairs and undermining the sovereignty of many countries in order to ensure its continued influence as a world power and promote its interests.
“Well para sa akin ‘yong United States of America, sila ‘yong banta sa demokrasya ng buong mundo at saka sila ‘yong talagang gumagawa ng maraming kalokohan sa iba’t ibang bansa para lang mapasunod nila. Nanghihimasok sila, nakikialam sa independence at sovereignty of several nations in the world,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez also Filipino people to unite and protect the sovereignty of the Philippines from the allaged undue interference by the U.S.
“Matagal na silang nakikialam sa atin. Dapat ngayon ipakita natin na hindi dapat nila pakialaman yung ating sovereignty,” Alvarez said.
Despite this, Alvarez said the Philippines should continue to maintain good relations with the U.S. but at the same time assert its sovereignty and protect the national interest.
“Alam mo para sa akin, magkaibigan pa rin naman tayo kaya lang, yung minumungkahi ko na gumawa na lang ng United Nations of Asia ay para pangalagaan yung interest naman natin – tayo lang dito sa Asia, di ba?” Alvarez said.
Through the formation of an international body analogous to the United Nations composed exclusively of Asian nations, Alvarez said Asian nations can truly protect their geopolitical and economic interests.
“Ngayon, ang para sa akin, ang proposal ko, dito na lang tayo sa Asya – United Nations of Asia, ‘di ba? At mapangalagaan natin yung interest natin dito sa Asia. Hindi natin kailangan ng western nations para makialam sa atin dahil unang-una, yung ekonomiya naman nila ay pabagsak na nga. Umaasa na lang sila sa ekonomiya ng Asia,” Alvarez said.
The national interest of the Philippines would be better served by such an Asian-only international body rather than through its membership in the United Nations, according to Alvarez.
“In fact, kung ako nga ang tatanungin mo, imumungkahi ko na buwagin na yang United Nations kasi wala namang silbi yan eh. Si Trump na rin mismo ang nagsabi na walang silbi yan,” Alvarez said.
Earlier, Malacañang expressed “concern” over the US intelligence report and disputed its assessment of PDuterte.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies, stressing that the President adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the constitution.