Stern and soft-hearted: Duterte warns Pinoy TNTs to leave US, says he’s willing to take in refugees

  • President said he will respect Trump’s immigration ban
  • He warned Filipino illegals in US to leave, said he will not help them if they are caught and deported
  • He also said he is willing to accommodate refugees stranded by Trump EO

MANILA, Philippines – Respectful reciprocity.

Commenting on US President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for the first time, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will respect his US counterpart’s decision since the latter also said he will not interfere in the country’s ongoing war against drugs.

“Kasi nu’ng sinabi rin niya ako [He told me], ‘We will not interfere in your drug war, you’re doing it right.’ So out of respect for that statement, I can only answer him in the manner that he has told me. Hindi ako makialam [I will not interfere],” CNN Philippines quoted him as saying.

Duterte ordered compatriots illegally residing in the US to leave and warned that he will not do anything to help them if they are caught and deported as they are technically breaking the law.

“So ‘yung mga Pilipinong nandoon [To the Filipinos there], you better be on the right track. If you are not allowed to stay there, you are overstaying, get out. Because if you are caught and you get deported, I will not lift a finger. You know that it is a violation of the law,” he said.

Despite his sternness, the president said he is willing to open the country’s doors to refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.

“Ako [Me], in the name of humanity and God, we’ll have to make some adjustments. If there is a compelling reason for us to offer sanctuary, I’m one of those na okay lang ako [who are okay with it],” he said.