Annoyed by criticisms on his alleged soft approach towards China in a territorial dispute, President Duterte is having doubts on whether former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario is really a Filipino.
In a televised address Monday, the President demanded Del Rosario to show proof that he was a Filipino national in his latest profanity-laced tirade against the former diplomat.
Del Rosario, alongside former Supreme Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, drew the ire of the President for criticizing his alleged weak stance in asserting the country’s ownership of the West Philippine Sea. Duterte asked why the country lost the territory if the two former officials were really bright.
In his remarks aired on state television, Duterte hit back at Del Rosario for acting like a diplomat and raised questions about his citizenship.
“Ito si Albert sumipot lang ito pretending… You know, Albert is pretending to be — in public, noon ko pa nahahalata ‘yan, he acts like with finesse. Sinasadya niya parang a diplomat of the making of the century. Alam mo sa totoo lang hindi ako naniniwala (Albert is pretending to be, in public, I’ve noticed it before that he acts like with finesses. He’s trying to be a diplomat of the making of the century),” Duterte said.
“Una, hindi ka Pilipino. Hindi ‘yan Pilipino ‘yang mukha mo. Hindi ako maniwala sa iyo. Bakit kita kunin na ano? I don’t even think that… Pakita mo nga ‘yong ano mo resident certificate mo kung Pilipino ka ba (First, you are not a Filipino. You don’t look like a Filipino. I don’t believe you. Why would I get you? I don’t even think that.. Show your resident certificate if you’re really a Filipino),” he added.
Del Rosario was born in Manila on November 14, 1939 but attended school in the United States. He earned an economics degree from New York University.
Both Carpio and Del Rosario rejected Duterte’s allegations, saying it was during the Aquino administration that the country secured an arbitral award against China’s excessive claims in the South China Sea. Carpio said the nation deserved a President who loves Filipinos first and will defend the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
Del Rosario, for his part, urged the President “to do his utmost to protect the West Philippine Sea and to be most wary of China’s duplicity.”