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

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.