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LOOK: Duterte meets China envoy in Malacanang

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday met with China’s ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua in Malacañang just days after the chief executive defended the Chinese envoy’s supposed link to a suspected drug pusher.

A photo sent to Palace reporters by Presidential Communications Operations Office showed Duterte shaking Zhao’s hand.

The two officials were also seen engaging in a discussion while members of the Cabinet looked on.

In a speech before Philippine Military Academy alumni in Malacañang last week, Duterte cleared a wealthy Chinese businessman named Michael Yang of any involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Yang, the owner of the Davao City Los Amigos shopping center, could not be involved in illegal drugs due to his close ties with Zhao, according to him.

“Ito daw si isang Michael Yang na drug addict daw, who is a… T*** i** drug Michael Yang, ang ambassador ng China diyan natutulog sa bahay niya. At saka kasama ‘yan doon sa entourage ni Premier of China,” Duterte said.

The chief executive also said, “Eh kasama-kasama palagi ‘yang — ‘yang kasama-sama palagi ni Ambassador Zhao. Hindi mo rin maloko ‘yan military ‘yan eh. ‘Yang ambassador natin military ‘yan ng China. Kalokohan… Pero kung sabihin mo ‘yung Michael Yang lalabas ni… Hindi ‘yan totoo. Matagal na ‘yan sa Davao.”