President undecided on Trump invitation to US-Asean Summit — Sen Go

Credit to Author: The Manila Times| Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 05:33:58 +0000

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide if he would accept United States President Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a summit between the US and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4, his former aide said on Thursday.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Trump has been inviting Duterte to visit the US for the longest time because there were a lot of Filipinos there.

Go said he didn’t know whether the President would accept the invitation but what he knew was that “as a matter of principle”, he really didn’t want to go.

Go said that he was also interested in meeting US Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy who introduced an entry ban against Filipino officials involved in Senator Leila de Lima’s detention.

Go reiterated that the Duterte administration was not persecuting Sen. de Lima as he emphasized that it was not the President’s style to silence his critics. The senator, however, criticized the American lawmakers for intervening in the country’s domestic affairs and judicial system without knowing all the facts.

Dapat alamin muna nila kung mayroon bang persecution na ginawa (They should first know if there was persecution). It’s not persecution, even a percent po walang persecution na ginagawa ang ating Pangulo(The President has not committed persecution, not even a percent) .  He is not known for that.  Hindi vindictive ang ating Pangulo (Our President is not vindictive),” he said.

Go said there was a “prosecution” that the Supreme Court upheld.

He said in Filipino that this was why he invited the two senators to come here and “research more”and “not believe in intrigues, in gossip” because it was “not our style”.

De Lima is currently detained at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison drug trade when she was still secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ). JAVIER JOE ISMAEL