KEY POINTS

  • The president threatened to spill coffee on the former foreign secretary
  • Del Rosario claimed a "reliable international entity" found that China helped Duterte win in 2016
  • Duterte said he may run for vice president in 2022

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has denied claims that the Chinese government helped him win the presidency during the 2016 election. 

Duterte slammed a claim made by former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario who said a “reliable international entity” informed him that senior Chinese officials had helped the president secure the seat in 2016. 

“You talk too much. China helped me? Fool, where did you get that? Sixteen million, another country can help you get those votes? Can you buy that many votes?” Duterte said Monday, according to ABS-CBN News

The Filipino president threatened to sue Del Rosario for several charges, including treason, as well as spill coffee on his face. 

“You know, Albert, once I discover what you are hiding, I will charge you. I will file many charges against you. I have not sued anybody, but I will go after you because you were the one who transmitted the message,” the president said. “Where do you go for coffee? I will pour coffee on your face.”

Duterte’s remarks come more than a week after presidential spokesman Harry Roque called Del Rosario’s claims “nonsense” and slammed him for being a “proven traitor,” South China Morning Post reported.

Del Rosario, who was a key player in the country’s arbitration victory against China, did not reveal the source of the information that he claimed he received in early 2019. He also did not elaborate on how his source obtained the information from Chinese officials and how Beijing played a role in the 2016 election.  

The Philippines is scheduled to hold a presidential election in 2022. However, Duterte is barred from seeking re-election as per the country’s constitution. His PDP-Laban party allies have encouraged him to seek vice presidency next year, according to CNN

"To the proposition that I run for vice president, slightly I am sold to the idea. Meaning to say, I am seriously thinking of running for vice president," he had said, noting that he still has unfinished business, including his campaign against illegal drugs.

Two former Philippines presidents, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, have previously run for lower public offices after their presidential term ended. However, no one has yet run for the vice-presidential post, according to CNBC

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will 'never cooperate' with an International Criminal Court probe into the country's deadly drug war, his spokesman has said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will 'never cooperate' with an International Criminal Court probe into the country's deadly drug war, his spokesman has said Photo: Philippines' Presidential Photographers Division (PPD) / Robinson NINAL