Will the US arrest Duterte because of tokhang?

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Thanksgiving Party for the beneficiaries of the killed-in-action (KIA) soldiers and killed-in-police operation (KIPO) personnel under the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program at the MalacaƱan Palace on December 10, 2019. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Contrary to what others say, Duterte is not at all keen on visiting the United States even before that US budgetary rider ordering the US government to cancel visas of Filipino officials involved in the “illegal” incarceration of Senator Leila de Lima. As early as 2016, Duterte had already revealed to the public his difficulty of going to the US for a visit since his visa was not even granted when he was still mayor of Davao. Of course, Duterte would not say what prompted the US government not to grant him his visa. I remember Duterte even mentioning his inability to visit his American wife, the mother of his beloved daughter and now Mayor Sara Duterte.

Why did the US reject Duterte’s visa applications? Is there something which Duterte committed of which was deemed a violation of immigration laws of the United States? Or Duterte is presently one of various names listed as “undesirable” by the US?

The US must reveal to the Filipino people why it does not allow Duterte to enter its borders. Is it because a report shows that Mr. Duterte was the mastermind behind the creation of the notorious Alsa Masa which committed various inhumane acts in Davao during the eighties and nineties?

By the way, the palace once more erred in releasing that letter by Trump asking ASEAN leaders to visit the US. They angled it in such a way that Duterte is being invited. No such thing. The Trump letter was addressed not to Duterte but to ASEAN. So there.

So, even if Duterte is arrested the minute his smelly feet lands at the John F. Kennedy airport, the reason would probably be NOT about his highly controversial anti-drugs campaign but SOMETHING ELSE. And that something else seems to be tucked somewhere at one of those folders secretly hidden in one of those cabinets inside the Bureau of Southeast Asian affairs of the US State department.

For those who compare Duterte with former Serbian leader Ratio Mladic, think again. Yes, evidence may actually find Duterte guilty of the crimes charged against him by the International Criminal Court (crimes similar to the ones charged against Mladic) but the US may yet arrest him for something which Duterte himself inhibited himself from mentioning and if the palace still refuses to reveal what this is, this may explode in their faces sooner than later.

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