MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is a threat to American interests, a top aide said Thursday, as he disputed a US intelligence report that the Philippine leader threatened democracy and human rights in Southeast Asia.
The assessment from US intelligence could be borne out of Duterte's pronouncement that he would not toe America's line, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said.
"The President is a threat to democracy? Maybe what the US intelligence means is that he is a threat to criminal elements, he is a threat to drug lords, he is a threat to terrorists, he is a threat to all this anti to the forces of democracy, he is more particularly, a threat to US interest," Panelo told ANC's Early Edition.
The World Threat Assessment Report was "definitely" unfair and the US should instead praise Duterte for waging war on drugs and terrorism.