MANILA - Senators Vicente "Tito" Sotto III and Gregorio Honasan on Thursday slammed the US intelligence community for branding President Rodrigo Duterte as a threat to democracy.
A World Threat Assessment Report last week placed Duterte alongside Cambodia’s Hun Sen, the Rohingya crisis and Thailand’s military-backed constitution as impediments to democracy in Southeast Asia.
The Filipino leader has threatened to declare a revolutionary government or nationwide martial law, and led an anti-narcotics crackdown that has seen some 4,000 killed.
"Bakit naman natin papansinin o bibigyan ng masyadong importansya ang mga intel ng US? Hindi nga nila napigil ang 9/11 attack," Honasan said in a statement.
(Why will we entertain or give importance to US intelligence? They failed to stop the 9/11 attack.)
With the report, Sotto said "people might start to suspect" that the US "supports drugs in the region."
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier rejected the report, saying Duterte's independent foreign policy had made him "not a favorite among the Americans."
But Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, an opposition lawmaker, believes the assessment was a "warning shot" for the President who is "nearing a red line."