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Duterte downplays rumors COVID-19 is ‘Made in China’

President Rodrigo Duterte came to China’s defense against rumors circulating that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has locked down people in their homes and halted the world economy’s grind, may actually be a bioweapon invented in their lab.

“I have a sort of a note from President Xi Jinping expressing his full support for us at this time and citing what we did not to hurt China and of course to erase, not really to erase, but to counter the malign they were suffering at this stage,” Duterte said in a televised address late Monday.

“Who would really want to invent a microbe to kill humankind pati yung iyo?  We thank President Xi for his support,” he added.

Duterte, who has always been open about his pro-China policy, said the Philippines can always count on China for its support.

“Kung galing lang sa China wala tayong problema, I think we can have priority any time.  It’s the other countries producing the antibodies, but if China catches up with them, eh 'di okay na.  Maybe a miracle will happen and civilization is back on its feet, that is how I see it,” he said.

In February, Duterte wrote the Xi a letter expressing his support for China amid the outbreak of the novelcoronavirus.

Wuhan City in Hubei province was the epicentre of the pandemic, which has spread worldwide and has killed thousands. —LDF, GMA News