SHUT UP, U.S., AUSTRALIA—DUTERTE
Trash-talking Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte has warned he is prepared to cut diplomatic ties with the United States and Australia after their ambassadors criticized his joke about the jailhouse rape of a missionary.
Duterte also told the ambassadors to “shut their mouths” as controversy continued to rage over his comments in which he said he wanted to have been the first to rape the Australian woman who was brutalized and murdered in a 1989 prison riot.
“If I become president, go ahead and sever (diplomatic ties),” Duterte, 71, said on the campaign trail on Wednesday night, referring to the relationships with the United States and Australia, two of the Philippines’ closest allies.
Duterte stressed that severing ties with any country that criticizes him is not his problem. It’s their problem, he said, arrogantly.
Duterte, who while campaigning has called the pope a “son of a bitch” and promised to kill tens of thousands of criminals, recounted at a recent rally the riot events as part of his tough-on-crime pitch to voters.
“I was mad. She (the Australian lay missionary) was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor should have been first (to rape her),” he told the crowd.
Duterte was at the time mayor of Davao, a major city in the southern Philippines where he is accused of running vigilante death squads that have allegedly killed more than 1,000 people.
The front runner has at times on the campaign boasted about running the death squads, claiming they killed 1,700 people, but also denied any links to them.
‘Shut your mouths’
Duterte has repeatedly expressed anger at what he regards as (foreign countries’) intervention in domestic politics.
“It would do well (for) the American ambassador and the Australian ambassador to shut their mouths,” Duterte told reporters on Wednesday.
A US embassy spokesman told Agence France Presse Thursday there was no immediate response to Duterte’s remarks about the ambassadors. An Australian embassy spokesman said there would be no comment.
Incumbent President Aquino on Thursday also criticized Duterte’s remarks, saying both countries had given the Philippines many benefits.
“What do we gain by this? America is a very big trading partner, Australia has been helping us... so what is the value (of such actions?) If there is no value, why will you do it?” he told reporters.
Voters should learn from such remarks, Aquino said, adding: “I believe the public knows how to make the right decision. Let us make sure that decision comes out in their ballots.”
In yet another warning to the country’s traditional allies, Duterte’s camp signaled it was prepared to start direct talks with China over a long-running territorial dispute, which goes against the US’ stand on multilateral talks.
Aquino has been improving defense ties with the United States and Australia to bolster the Philippines in its dispute with China over the South China Sea.
China claims most of the sea, even up to the coasts of its neighbors like the Philippines which has accused China of “bullying” other claimants.
However Duterte spokesman Peter Lavina said in a television interview on Thursday that he would be prepared to talk directly with China.
Aquino has refused to hold direct talks with China over the dispute, preferring multilateral discussions and filing a legal challenge with a United Nations-backed tribunal.
Ragaling a crowd of supporters in Iloilo, Duterte bragged that he had shot a fellow San Beda law student who picked on him because he was a Visayan.
Rappler quoted Duterte as saying: “But the truth is, I’m used to shooting people. When we were about to graduate from San Beda, I shot a person.”
The shooting incident supposedly led to his expulsion, yet he managed to graduate eventually.
He said the student was a bully who would pick on Duterte because he was Bisaya (Visayan).
“He was verbally-abusive, he would always say, ‘Oy, Bisaya, come here!’ He was the first person I punched...This fool said, ‘Hey, you Bisaya, who make a mess of the world.
The shooting happened in a school corridor,, he said. He was about to graduate, I was watching him, I said, ‘This guy has a bone to pick with me. Before we went our separate ways, he, a bully would go ‘Hoy, hoy hoy,’ as he entered the corridor. I told him, ‘son of a bitch if that hits me, I will shoot you. Son of a bitch, it hit me on the nose. Ahhh, bang! Expelled.
The crowd reacted to Duterte’s storytelling with laughter.
Duterte has similarly offered varying responses to the rape comments, with his media team releasing a statement in which he apologized. But on the campaign trail, he has repeatedly told reporters he would never say sorry.
Australian ambassador Amanda Gorely criticized his remarks this week, saying on Twitter: “Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialized. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere”.
US ambassador Philip Goldberg later agreed with her.
“Statements by anyone, anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder are not ones that we condone,” Goldberg said in an interview with CNN Philippines television.
Digong to women’s group,
CHR: Go to hell
With a women’s group filing a case against him before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for Duterte’s violation of the Magna Carta complaint against him due to his offensive remarks on rape, Duterte had this to say to them: “Go to hell.”
“What Human rights? I will be sued? You go to hell! You go to hell! That’s my... Human rights? You go to hell!” Duterte said, stressing that he will not heed any summons of the CHR and will merely throw it away.
The Davao Mayor, who campaigns for change, again talked about his “bad mouth” but said that no one can question his actions as he was merely exercising his constitutional right of freedom of expression.
“It is a sacred right. Nobody can question my mouth!” he added.
VP questions Digong
With the psychiatric report of Duterte out, Vice President Jojo Binay a rival, said Durtere was abnormal and suffers from a psychological disorder.
In an interview with Energy FM radio station on Wednesday, Binay said only a person with an abnormal mind could joke about rape, referring to Duterte’s joke about the rape slay of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill at a Davao city prison riot in 1989.
Binay added that Duterte’s mind is sick for being openly supportive of the summary killings in Davao city under the notorious vigilante group Davao Death Squad.
That’s why that’s how he acts. He boasts of those he killed, the children who were stabbed to death. Then, over the slain Australian, he just said, “She looks great. I should have gone first,” things like that. That’s very abnormal, isn’t it? So that’s why there’s abnormality in the things he says, it’s because he apparently has a psychological disorder.
ABS-CBN came out earlier with a report showing that Duterte has been diagnosed with “Antisocial Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” characterized by “gross indifference, insensitivity and self-centeredness,” “grandiose sense of self-entitlement and manipulative behaviors” and “pervasive tendency to demean, humiliate others and violate their rights and feelings,” according to the psychological report submitted as evidence in the annulment proceedings with his wife Elizabeth Zimmerman.
Duterte, according to the report first published by ABS-CBN, is incapable of remorse or guilt, which could explain why Duterte could easily support summary killings of criminals in Davao City, and even make a joke about rape.
“Did you know that a document had been released, that of the annulment of his marriage. His marriage was annulled. And one of the reasons the marriage was annulled, and I call him ‘berdugo’ (executioner), the executioner who kills children and the poor; this berdugo has a psychological disorder.)
Binay also said Duterte’s scathing statements against the bishops and the women’s groups critical of him reveal even more his psychotic mind.
Answering the challenge of Vice President Jejomar Binay to subject all candidates to a psychological test, Duterte cautioned the vice president as those tests could very well expose him for what he really is – “a thief.”
Duterte received flak on social media and was heavily criticized by the Church, women’s groups and other presidential contenders after making a joke about the rape-slay of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill at a Davao City prison riot in 1989.
The camp of Duterte calls all the criticisms leveled against the Davao Mayor “black propaganda” even when the statement that are being criticized come from Durterte.