Duterte refuses to host US drones
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he will not allow any infrastructure in the city to host United States (US) drones even if requested to.
He said he had as a mayor before turned down a similar request by the US between 2005 and 2010.
Recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced that US drones will be used to spy on illegal logging activities, thus it is assumed that these drones will need some space to launch from.
Duterte said on Monday there has not been any similar requests to him since.
“Wala na mi nakigstorya (We never discussed that again) because I felt that sovereignty was gravely violated,” he said.
But, he added, a similar request was made during the term of former Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who also refused.
Should the US reiterate its request to use the Old Airport for its drones, he said, he will still decline.
“Makigstorya ko pero di ko musugot na (I will talk with them, but I will not agree to any such request),” the mayor said. “Gamiton lang na eh kumbaga pandungag sa samok (This will just invite trouble).”
In his 18 years as mayor before this new term, Duterte has become adamant against any US-sanctioned military activities right after the incident involving American national Michael Terence Meiring.
Meiring is believed to be on some bombing mission when he accidentally tripped off the explosive inside his room in Evergreen Hotel along R. Magsaysay Avenue on May 16, 2002, and injured himself.
He was brought to the hospital for treatment under heavy guard but was spirited away by Americans claiming to be from the US National Security and Federal Bureau of Investigations despite arrest warrants and an order to not leave the Philippines, and without the knowledge of Duterte, who was also the mayor at that time. (Arianne Caryl N. Casas/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)