Duterte tells ex-envoy Cuisia: 'Shut up over WPS issue'

Published July 8, 2021, 4:19 PM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte fumed against former Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Cuisia Jr. who previously criticized the administration for not putting pressure on China through the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a public address at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on July 6, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

“They want—itong Cuisia, pumunta ka doon, kunin mo ‘yong… Akala niya ganoon kadali ang isyung ito. Kaya gusto ko siyang paunahin, bigyan ko siya ng uniporme pati baril, tingnan ko kung saan ‘yong (This Cuisia, go there, get the… He thought this issue is that easy. That’s why I want to let him go first, I will give him a uniform and gun, let’s see where the),” Duterte said.

The Chief Executive made the remarks before members of the PDP-Laban during a taped meeting on Wednesday, July 7.

“You know, you’re neo-Filipinos. You do not even look Filipino. Shut up,” the President told Cuisia.

Cuisia was appointed by the late former President Benigno Aquino III as ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was also the former governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, holding that position from 1990 to 1993.

He earned Duterte’s ire for urging the Philippines to “follow up” at the UNGA and invoke the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated the basis of China’s expansive claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Ther ex-envoy criticized the present administration for failing to get support from the international community, which will make Beijing “like an international rogue country that is not respecting the international law.”

The tough-talking President was miffed at that suggestion and came to China’s defense once more.

“But the West Philippine Sea, they are there not because they say that they want to add to their territory. They are there because they say that it’s theirs and they claim of ownership,” he said.

Duterte again pinned the blame on the previous administration for losing Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal in 2012.

READ: Duterte hits Carpio, Del Rosario anew: ‘If you are bright, why did you lose WPS?’

“We also claim it, but we lost the Scarborough Shoal. Ang Scarborough Shoal was lost because of the past administration,” he added.

The Chief Executive dragged former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, saying that he was the one who made 16 trips to China as a backchannel negotiator in 2012 when the Chinese effectively took control of the shoal.

“Siya ‘yong nag (He was the one who) shuttle between —sila ‘yong nag-usap, si the late President Aquino, si Cuisia at ito si Albert. Si Cuisia naman (They were the ones who talked, the late President Aquino, Cuisia, and Albert. This Cuisia) bombastic and fumigated against me, bakit ko daw hindi…? (why didn’t I…?),” he said.

Albert refers to former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who has also been vocal about his criticism of the Duterte administration’s handling of the maritime issues with China.

The President said that Filipino fishermen are in a better position now because “there’s delineation” and “they allowed the Filipinos.”