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Duterte reveals being denied a US visa in the past

BEIJING - President Rodrigo Duterte said he was once denied a United States visa when he planned to visit a girlfriend in college.

Speaking to the Filipino community in China’s capital on Wednesday, Duterte complained that Americans can enter the Philippines visa-free when Filipinos have a hard time securing a travel document to visit the US.

“America? Miski ako hindi ako makapunta doon, hindi ako bigyan ng visa ng mga…” he said.

He narrated that he was asked what would happen if he decided to marry and stay in the US.

“Sabi ko, ‘Mr. Consul, even if you offer me free visas for a lifetime and even if you offer me 10,000 dollars, I’d still return to my country and be a Filipino,’” Duterte recalled and the crowd broke into cheers.

“The problem is, you go to America? You’ll not be issued a visa,” he stressed his point.

He shared that a local government official was also denied a visa although he was invited to an event by the US government itself.

“The poor man had to travel. He was in poor health. Pagdating dito [US Embassy], he was denied. Pero sila anytime. They enter the Philippines visa-free. Well, there will always be a time for reckoning. Bakit hindi natin tablahin?” Duterte said and gave a faint smile.

Duterte had been releasing tirades against US, after American officials expressed concern over the spate of drug-related deaths since the new administration came in.

US President Barack Obama previously advised Duterte to fight crime the right way, after the former Davao City mayor cursed right before flying to Vientiane, Laos for the ASEAN Summit. A bilateral meeting between the two leaders was canceled after Duterte blurted out expletives. — BAP/KG, GMA News