Philippines calls claim China influenced 2016 election to favour Duterte ‘nonsense’
- Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario made the claim at a forum on Monday, citing a ‘most reliable international entity’
- He said senior Chinese officials were ‘bragging that they had been able to influence the 2016 Philippine elections so that Duterte would be president’
Speaking at a forum on Monday, former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario said a “most reliable international entity” had informed him that senior Chinese officials were “bragging that they had been able to influence the 2016 Philippine elections so that Duterte would be president”.
Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque, in his regular briefing, described Del Rosario’s remarks as “nonsense” and called him a “proven traitor” before telling him to “shut up”.
Roque has accused Del Rosario, during his time as foreign secretary, of ceding control of the Scarborough Shoal to China.
The Philippine and Chinese foreign ministries, China’s embassy in Manila and the Philippine election commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
He has long maintained it was pointless and dangerous to challenge China.
Del Rosario referred also to Duterte mentioning during a May 2018 speech that his Chinese counterpart had assured him Beijing would not allow him to be removed from office. Del Rosario said that remark was “disturbing”.