Duterte to Robredo: Migrate to America if you lose in 2022 elections

Vice President Leni Robredo ought to consider migrating to the United States in case she gets defeated in the next presidential elections, President Duterte said Monday night.


The President suggested to Robredo to consider a life in the US in his scathing public rebuke of the vice president over her supposed "pro-American" stance.

Duterte was furious at the vice president for alleging he was trying to extort money from the United States in exchange of the troops' presence in the country. He told Robredo to brush up on the Constitution after supposedly forgetting a provision that the President is the sole architect of the country's foreign affairs.

"Kung hindi ka manalo (If you don't win), you migrate to America and become an American citizen and you can freely use the word 'extortion,'" Duterte told Robredo.

Duterte also pointed out that Robredo got a royal treatment when she had a speaking engagement in the United States.

"Napunta ka ng Amerika, nagsalita ka doon (When you visited America and spoke there) you were treated with almost as a royalty, tapos ito ang nangyari ngayon. Kakampi ka ng walang rason (and then this happens. You side with them for no reason)," he said.

Duterte has belittled anew Robredo's competence, insisting that she is not fit to become the country's next leader. He claimed Robredo falsely thought there was "nothing wrong with America and the Philippines.”

"Hindi niya alam na ano eh… Kaya ikaw, ma'am, I'm sorry to say, you are not really qualified to run for president. You do not know your role in this government," he said.

"Ma'am, kung ikaw ang presidente, hindi mo alam ang trabaho mo, huwag ka na lang mag --- eh dapat alam mo 'yan, abogado ka — (If you’re the president, you don’t know your job. Don’t consider… You should know that, you’re a lawyer) that you should not be opening your mouth while we are negotiating because maraming kasalanan ang Amerika sa atin (America has many offenses against us)," he added.

If she wins the presidency, Duterte advised Robredo, a lawyer, to improve her legal skills.

"I said if by unfortunate chance you become the president, please study more. I think that you --- you need a refresher course sa law. That is my advice to you. You do not use this word mga 'extortion,' 'extortion,'" he said.

The President earlier told the United States to "pay" if it wanted to retain the visiting forces agreement with the Philippines.  The military deal, signed by the two nations in late 1990s, provides the rules on the conduct of visiting American soldiers in the country. 

Robredo slammed Duterte's threat on the VFA and likened his action to a form of extortion.

Last year, Duterte ordered the scrapping of the VFA with the US over alleged inequities in the treaty provisions and alleged meddling in the country’s affairs. By June 2020, the government postponed the VFA termination for six months. The suspension of the termination was recently extended for another six months.