By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
TOKYO, Japan – President Duterte asked Filipinos living and working here to work hard for Japan because the Asian powerhouse has helped the Philippines in many ways.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Speaking before members of the Filipino Community here, Duterte also lauded Japan for treating overseas Filipino workers (OFW) with respect.
"Kung ako sa inyo is (If I were you), you help Japan. Truly. Yung in good faith," he said late Thursday evening.
"Sweat it out kasi unang-una (because first of all), they’re kind to us and they provide us with so many things. Libre (And those are for free)," he added, citing the facilities in Davao City as an example.
"Japan is a good country. It has --- at saka ang mga workers natin dito hindi binabastos (and they do not disrespect our workers here). They are really --- you are really treated here as human being," he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte said that the Philippines will be fine even without the help of the United States as long as it has Japan as an ally.
"Kaya kailangan natin ang --- at least --- at the very least, mawala na lahat kasi ang America is really… Wala ang America it’s --- hindi --- hindi na, it can’t sustain. Kaya ayaw na rin ng gulo (That's why we need---at the very least, even if everything is gone. Because America cannot sustain that's why it's staying away from trouble)," he said.
"So kung hindi lang tayo iwanan ng Japan, Korea, pati China, okay tayo (So if Japan, Korea, and even China do not abandon us, we'll be fine)," he added.
The President also took a swipe at America anew for not selling the country arms in 2017.
"'Yan ang sentimiyento ko talaga sa Amerika. Tsaka bossy masyado. Iyong kanilang sarhento, tinyente, magsalita akala mo heneral rin (That's my sentiment about America. They're also too bossy. Their sergeants and lieutenants speak as if they're generals)," Duterte said.
"Kaya hindi ako nakikinig sa kanila (That's why I don't listen to them). I do not listen to you. Wala kayong (You have no) word of honor. Ang pinaka may word of honor, Japan (The country which honors their words truly is Japan)," he added.
President Duterte is in Japan to speak at Nikkei's 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia on Friday.
He will also meet for the seventh time Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to take stock of the progress of the strengthened strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan in areas of mutually beneficial cooperation.
The President, who arrived in Tokyo Tuesday, also met with members of a Japanese business delegation.
He thanked them for expanding their businesses in the Philippines, and assured them of a corruption-free work environment.
This is Duterte's third time to visit Japan since he assumed the presidency in 2016.