Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Duterte says Trump speaks his ‘language’




Duterte says Trump speaks his ‘language’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
President Rodrigo Duterte waves after arriving in Jerusalem at the start of an official visit to Israel on Sunday. AFp

Duterte says Trump speaks his ‘language’

PHILIPPINE leader Rodrigo Duterte has apologised to former US president Barack Obama for calling him a “son of a whore” in 2016, which sparked a new low in their nations’ long alliance.

Duterte lobbed the insult in response to steady criticism from the United States over his violent drug crackdown, which has been a target for international condemnation.

However, the Philippine president said his nation’s relationship with America has since improved under President Donald Trump, who he described as a “good friend” who “speaks my language”.

“It would be appropriate also to say at this time to Mr. Obama that you are now a civilian and I am sorry for uttering those words,” Duterte said Sunday in a speech before Filipinos in Israel.

Duterte landed in Israel on Sunday for a four-day stay as the Philippines seeks to develop new sources of military hardware and nail down protections for its overseas workers.

“If it is (in) your heart to forgive, you forgive. I have forgiven you, just like my girlfriends when I was still a bachelor... I have forgiven them also,” the Philippine leader said in the same speech.

After his election in mid-2016, Duterte quickly earned a reputation for using vulgar language against critics which his aides have tried to minimise or explain away.

He branded Pope Francis and the then US ambassador to Manila “sons of whores”. He also fired expletives at the United Nations and during a speech in the Philippines raised his middle finger in defiance to the European parliament.

Duterte often rails at critics of his campaign to rid the Philippines of narcotics, which police say has killed 4,410 alleged drug dealers or users.

Rights groups say the actual number of dead is triple that and could amount to crimes against humanity.

Duterte cursed Obama ahead of a regional summit in Laos two years ago prompting the US to cancel a meeting between the two leaders there.

Obama later described Duterte as “a colourful guy” as he urged him to conduct his anti-narcotics campaign “the right way”.

Duterte sparked new criticism ahead of his departure for Israel, blaming the high number of rapes in his hometown of Davao on the large number of beautiful women there.

“They say there are many rape cases in Davao,” Duterte said in a speech on Thursday. “For as long as there are many beautiful women, there will be many rape cases, too.”

Duterte has on several occasions made rape jokes in public since his presidential campaign. The latest comment was denounced by women’s rights defenders.

“Beauty doesn’t cause rape, rapists do,” said Philippine lawmaker Risa Hontiveros, a Duterte critic.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal