Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned President Obama not to question him about extrajudicial killings going on in the Philippines, or “son of a bitch I will swear at you”. The two are scheduled to meet in Laos for a summit.
When asked how he would speak about the killings to President Obama, he told The Associated Press that as the leader of the Philippines, he will only be held accountable to Filipinos. Since Duterte took office on June 30th, more than 2,000 people suspected of using or selling drugs have been killed. Duterte said:
‘I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina I will swear at you in that forum.’
Putang ina is the Filipino phrase for “son of a b**ch”.
Duterte is not new to the practice of cursing out world leaders. In May, he referred to Pope Francis as a “son of a whore”, then backpedaled after a planned apology. He also launched into an expletive-laden tirade when criticized by several UN leaders back in June.
‘F*** you UN, you can’t even solve the Middle East carnage … couldn’t even lift a finger in Africa… shut up all of you.’
Obama has not made it clear whether he intends to bring up the topic of the Philippine war on drugs during his scheduled meeting with Duterte. The two will meet each other during the summit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes 20 different countries in Southeast Asia. A reporter asked President Obama at a conference in Hangzhou, China whether he plans to bring up extrajudicial killings in his meeting with Duterte. The President said he had told his aides to contact Duterte and find out whether a productive meeting with the foul-mouthed leader is still possible. He said:
‘I always want to make sure that if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive, and that we’re getting something done. We recognize the significant burden that the drug trade plays not just in the Philippines but around the world, and fighting narco-trafficking is tough. But we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that’s consistent with basic international norms. And so, undoubtedly, if and when we have a meeting this is something that is going to be brought up.’
Duterte remarked that the United States has still not apologized to the Philippines for the country’s colonization efforts over a century ago. He called the killing of Muslim Moros and country’s past history of violence “the reason why [the south] continues to boil” with insurgencies. “Who is he to confront me?”, Duterte added. He has explained that he intends to defend the bloody extrajudicial killings he has sanctioned, and has demanded that he be permitted to first explain the background and need for the killings before President Obama speaks to him about them.
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