Philippines 'Concerned' as US Intelligence Tags Duterte a Threat to Democracy

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He wants to uphold the rule of law.

Citing a Freedom House report, the USA intel report also listed the Philippines as one of the governments that use propaganda and misinformation in social media "to influence foreign and domestic audiences".

The assessment has made it "very hard to be friendly" with the U.S., Duterte spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

"India is also interested to enter into the telecom industry and we are considering", President Duterte said on Tuesday evening, February 20, during an occasion of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Inc.

In its February 13, 2018 report, the paper said: "Southeast Asia Democracy and human rights in many Southeast Asian countries will remain fragile in 2018 as autocratic tendencies deepen in some regimes and rampant corruption and cronyism undermine democratic values".

Since running for the presidential seat in 2015 and taking office the year after, Duterte and the United States have had an uneasy relationship.

"While it is true that the Administration uses and maximizes social media to promote government messages and accomplishments, members of the political opposition and other cause-oriented groups use the same media platform to advance their agenda", Roque said.

"He adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the Constitution", he said, adding that there is no revolutionary government or nationwide martial law.

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Philippines 'Concerned' as US Intelligence Tags Duterte a Threat to Democracy

He also said that they are not supposed spend anything unless it was part of the official fees and collections of the government, which were mostly regulatory fees according to him. "This latest intelligence assessment is a classic case in point", he said.

But since those few hundred words marring Duterte's reputation were penned by the United States intelligence community, they were met with "concern" by the 72-year-old Philippine president.

In Thailand leaders have vowed to hold elections later this year, but the new Constitution will institutionalize the military's influence.

US President Donald Trump toasts with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (R) during a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on November 12, 2017.

The US intelligence community covers 16 government agencies that work separately and together to gather intelligence to support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US.

The government statement also suggested that the Philippines takes the report more seriously because it came from the intelligence community and not the State Department, and hinted that the Asian nation's top leadership is concerned the US may decide to meddle in the country's internal affairs. U.S. allies with spotty human rights records, like Saudi Arabia and Thailand, receive few mentions in the report.

The International Criminal Court is proceeding with the preliminary examination of a communication filed by lawyer Jude Sabio, accusing President Duterte of crimes against humanity in connection of the drug war.

The US State Department said it was taking "concrete steps" to respond to actions taken Hun Sen's government in Cambodia, which it said "run counter to the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991 that ... afforded the Cambodian people democratic rights".

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