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USA intelligence tags Duterte a 'threat to democracy, human rights'

USA intelligence tags Duterte a 'threat to democracy, human rights'

The US intelligence community has identified several Southeast Asian leaders as 'regional threats, ' joining a list that includes China and North Korea, in a released last week.

Democracy and human rights in many South-east Asian nations will remain fragile in 2018 because of autocratic tendencies, rampant corruption and cronyism, the US Intelligence Community said in its Worldwide Threat Assessment report dated Feb 13.

Countering the report, Roque said Duterte "is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies", adding "he adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the constitution".

"Our media are still able to broadcast and print what they want-'fake news' included".

Duterte has suggested he could suspend the Constitution, declare a 'revolutionary government, ' and impose nationwide martial law.

He said the use of social media to promote the government's agenda had become "part of the daily lives of Filipinos", in much the same way that it is used for the same goal in the United States.

"Duterte will continue to wage his signature campaign against drugs, corruption, and crime", the report said. "It is therefore foolhardy not to tap social media as a tool when the technology exists for free", he said.

In an earlier TV interview, Roque, a human rights advocate, said that he would not join Duterte's Cabinet if the President, a lawyer himself, was a threat to democracy and to human rights.

"I don't know of any government in the free world which does not use the internet and social media to promote its agenda".

Duterte has always been under fire for alleged extrajudicial killings and human-rights violations in his no-holds-barred war on drugs. This is very true especially in the case of the US.

"We view this declaration from no less than the intelligence department of the United States with some concern", presidential spokesman Harry Roque told DZMM radio. It is coming from the intelligence community. "If you are the representative there, you can always go to them and discuss business", he said.

"India is also interested to enter into the telecom industry and we are considering", Duterte said during the induction of the new officials of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerces Inc.in MalacaƱang. Trump is seen to be less critical of Duterte, and at one point reportedly praised the Filipino leader for "doing a great job".

The president also said the Chinese military presence in the region is not a threat to the Philippines. Ambassador Chito Santa Romana compared the United States and China to a pair of elephants fighting and trampling grass-adding "what we don't want is to be the grass".

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