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Duterte supporters hit critics of PH foreign policy

A pro-Duterte group stages a rally blasting critics of the administration’s foreign policy. PHOTO/Frances Mangosing

MANILA, Philippines — Government supporters came to the defense of President Rodrigo Duterte against the critics of his foreign policy.

“Palibhasa itong mga to ay walang kamag-anak na pwedeng pag-initan sa Hong Kong, Taipei, China. Eh tayong naghihikahos, kailangan natin magpakabuti at kaibiganin ang China sapagkat meron tayong mga kamaganak na OFW (overseas Filipino workers),” said one of the hosts of the program for Duterte supporters ahead of the President’s State of the Nation Address on Monday afternoon.

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“Alam naman natin lahat ay kinakaibigan ng Pangulo,” he added.

The host also blamed the previous administration for losing a part of the West Philippine Sea, without directly referring to Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal) to China, which was seized by China after a standoff with the Philippines in 2012.

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“Yun din ang himutok ng Pangulo. Gusto din niyag makuha ang lupa na iyon. Dahil iyon ay nakuha ng ibang administrasyon. Tapos isisisi nila sa Pangilo natin ag ginawang kahayupan,” he added.

Duterte has been criticized for kowtowing to China when it comes to the West Philippine Sea and for refusing to bring up the arbitral award.

Other guests at the rally like retired police general Antonio Viernes promoted Duterte’s push for federalism.

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In between speeches, the crowd was entertained with song numbers.

The Duterte supporters gathered along IBP Road near Batasang Pambansa, where President Duterte delivered his SONA.

As of 3 p.m., police estimated the crowd of supporters at 3,430.

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