Duterte-Obama tiff will have no effect on Pinoys in US –Bello
The apparent rift between President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Barack Obama will have no effect on Filipinos living and working in the United States, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday.
"Wala naman akong nakikitang complications diyan," Bello said at a press briefing in Manila, hours after Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte after the Philippine leader launched a tirade against him.
At Monday's press briefing before leaving for Laos for the ASEAN Summit, Duterte said Obama has no right to lecture him about the extrajudicial killings being linked to his administration's bloody campaign against illegal drug syndicates.
Bello said he does not know what prompted Duterte to issue such a statement, but opined that it may have something to do with the fact that Obama has only a few months left before he steps down from office.
"Isip ko, siguro naalala niya na si President Obama is already a—anong tawag dun?—lame duck president," Bello said. "Ilang buwan na lang, wala na."
"So, I think, he is more concerned about the interests of Filipino workers than establishing a strong foreign relation with an outgoing president. Yun ang aking [opinyon]," Bello added.
Obama's reign as US president will officially end in January 2017 after serving two terms.
There is an estimated 3,494,281 Filipinos in the US, according to the Commission on Overseas Filipinos. —KBK, GMA News