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Duterte tells Obama ‘you can go to hell,’ warns of breakup

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestured with a firing stance as he announced issuing sidearms to army troopers during his visit to its headquarters in suburban Taguig city east of Manila, Tuesday.

MANILA » Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte told President Barack Obama “you can go to hell” in a speech Tuesday that was his strongest tirade so far against the U.S. over its criticism of his deadly anti-drug campaign, adding that he may eventually decide to “break up with America.”

He also lashed out anew at the European Union, saying the bloc, which has also criticized his brutal crackdown, “better choose purgatory, hell is filled up.”

Since becoming president in June, Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S. and with Obama and has declared intentions to bolster relations with China and Russia as he revamps Philippine foreign policy that has long leaned on Washington.

The brash-speaking leader also has been hypersensitive to criticism over his anti-drug crackdown, which has left more than an estimated 3,000 suspected drug dealers and pushers dead in just three months, alarming the United Nations, the EU, the U.S. and human rights watchdogs.

In a speech before a local convention attended by officials and business executives, Duterte outlined his disappointments with the U.S., which has asked his government to stop the widespread killings and has questioned whether human rights are being violated. He also described Washington as an unreliable ally, saying Filipino forces have not benefited from joint combat exercises with U.S. troops.

“Instead of helping us, the first to criticize is this State Department, so you can go to hell, Mr. Obama, you can go to hell,” Duterte said. Then addressing the EU, he said: “Better choose purgatory, hell is filled up.”

In a later speech at a synagogue in Makati city in the Manila metropolis, Duterte warned he may decide to “break up with America” in his most serious threat so far to push relations back with Washington.

“Eventually I might, in my time, I will break up with America,” he said without elaborating. “I would rather go to Russia and to China.”

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the U.S. had not received any official request from Duterte or any other Philippine official to alter any aspect of bilateral cooperation.

“This is an alliance that is robust and that benefits both of our countries,” Earnest said. “Even as we protect this strong alliance, the administration and the United States of America will not hesitate to raise our concerns about extra-judicial killings. We remain deeply concerned by reports of widespread extrajudicial killings by or at the behest of government authorities in the Philippines. The use of that kind of tactic is entirely inconsistent with universal human rights and the shared values of our two countries.”

Duterte has given assurances that he would not abrogate a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. and will maintain the long alliance with America, one of his country’s largest trading partners and provider of development and military aid and defense equipment.

The U.S. has expressed concern over the extrajudicial killings and urged Duterte’s government to ensure law enforcement efforts comply with human rights obligations. Last month, Obama canceled a planned first meeting with Duterte on the sidelines of an Asian summit in Laos after the Filipino leader blurted “son of a bitch” in warning the U.S. leader not to lecture him on human rights ahead of their meeting. Duterte later expressed regrets over his remarks.

Angered by U.S. criticism, Duterte has made a series of public pronouncements that he could scale back the activities and presence of visiting U.S. troops in the country.

Last week, Duterte said the joint U.S.-Philippine combat exercises to be held this week, the first of his presidency, would also be the last of his tenure. The exercises, centering on amphibious landing drills, started Tuesday under some uncertainty because of those remarks.

Marine commanders from both sides said at the opening ceremony that the exercises, involving 1,100 American and 400 Filipino military personnel, are aimed at improving readiness by the two countries to respond to a range of crises while deepening their historic ties.

U.S. Embassy officials said Washington has not been formally notified by the Philippine government of any move to scrap other planned drills. Such a move by the Philippines would impede Washington’s plans to expand the footprint of U.S. forces in Southeast Asia to counter China.

A Philippine military spokesman for the ongoing exercises, Capt. Ryan Lacuesta, sidestepped the question of whether Duterte’s remarks have affected the troops and the atmosphere of the drills.

U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. John Jansen said that aside from promoting regional security, the exercises have helped save lives in terms of fostering more rapid and organized responses to disasters like Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

“Our alliance remains a key source of stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Jansen said, expressing confidence “that we will continue to build our partnership and capabilities together.”

While the Obama administration maintains that its alliance with the Philippines remains “ironclad,” a senior U.S. diplomat cautioned Duterte last week against more anti-U.S. posturing. Many of Duterte’s stunning pronouncements have typically been walked back by other Philippines officials.

“I think it would be a serious mistake in a democratic country like the Philippines to underestimate the power of the public’s affinity for the U.S. That’s people power,” Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel told The Associated Press.

Russel did not draw a direct comparison, but past Philippine presidents have been toppled by popular protests dubbed “people power,” including former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in 1986.

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  • Like most dictators, Mr. Duterte will fail. He has no dignity to operate on the world stage. Duterte is rude, crude and boorish. Filipino’s don’t remember that they were once occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army. Short term memory is gone. Duterte is like a motorcycle rider. He will eventually fall, just a matter of when.

    • Instead of our absurdly permissive and ineffective ‘war on drugs’ ~~ hell, it is not even a squirt gun fight against narcotics ~~ we would do well to emulate both Duterte and Mao Tse Tung if we are ever to get serious about eradicating dope. Both understand that touchy feely half measures won’t work because the lure of dope coupled with immense profits are so powerful.

      When Mao’s red army defeated the Kuomintang and he formed the PRC in 1949, he inherited the most opium saturated population on earth (thanks in large measure to the trade policies of 19th century Brits). Three years later, dope was gone.

      How did he do it? He offered a one time six month amnesty. Anyone who came forward for ‘treatment’ went cold turkey behind the wire. After that anyone found having any commerce with or use of dope was guilty of a capital crime and ~~ very much in accord with the policy of Duterte ~~ was executed.

      Not until we emulate Duterte will we have a chance of freeing our people ~~ especially our poor, urban Americans of African Ancestry ~~ from the scourge of illicit narcotics.

        • Agree with HIE, if you can find a better country than the US to live in then you should move and take the violent protesters with you while you’re at it.

      • The most addictive substances is alcohol. What are they doing about this white man’s drug? DUI deaths,domestic abuse,child neglect,health problems, on and on.

        • Why is alcohol a white man’s drug? And stop using derogatory racist terms and ideas.

        • We tried this thing called prohibition a while ago and it didn’t work. Also it’s not just for white folks.

        • Yo NB!

          If you really think 38 states will vote to ratify a resurrected Volstead Amendment, go for it!

        • Assuming you intended to address this to thos and not ‘this’, you err.

          What is out of touch with reality is our namby pamby, permissive attitude toward recreational mind numbing narcotics.

          The longer we take mincing, ineffective steps the more of our fellow Americans will be destroyed by dope.

      • Kill the end users and let the Gangs thrive, get rich, and infiltrate business and politics. Yup, that’s the way to a “free” society. And what else has Mao’s system brought us, oh yeah, North Korea. P.I. needs to be like North Korea and start executing other politicians with anti-aircraft guns.

        • Nope… he’s intolerant of corruption and we like that.

          Let’s hope that he doesn’t have the fate leaders of banana republics of an earlier time have had.

          State and the CIA used to engineer regime changes in the form of coups or assassinations. Anyone we didn’t like…. It was in the “national interest”

      • “Three years later, dope was gone.”

        …And, in four years, 45 million of his own people were gone. Specifically 45 million were shot, tortured, starved or worked to death.That, by no definition of the word, should be admirable to anybody not suffering from (at the very least) a profound personality disorder.

        The same goes for referring to Mao’s bloody domination of China as an inheritance and suggesting that a government – our government no less – should take such measures for the purpose of “freeing our people.”

        But, I’ll bet you’re patting yourself on the back for speaking up for African Americans and not including Hitler in your pantheon.

        Applause, thosser, you’ve plumbed new depths in your scatosphere.

      • For short-sighted people, getting rid of drug users and sellers seems like a nice, quick fix. But when the druggies are gone, the dictator will crack down hard on anyone else who’s not perfect, and especially people who speak out against him.

        Just imagine living in North Korea or Russia. Do you want that? That is exactly what Duterte is aiming for. He’s not going to brutally execute the druggies, then suddenly turn into a kindler, gentler leader.

        He’s not fit to be president. He lacks the temperament. And he tweets ridiculous insults at 3 am. Oops, I was thinking of someone else!

      • Let Duterte break with the US, let him join China or Russia, he will soon be silenced and disappear, aND the Phillipines will become a Chinese possession, or a part of the Russian Empire. Good riddance to another psychotic, mass murderer and despot.

    • I believe majority of the people in that country elected him, he did not rise to power from a coup d’etat. At least he’s got some balls when it comes to fighting drug related crimes. America could learn a lot from from him.

      • If you folks think he is just killing DRUG DEALERS your are misled. He is killing many or all of his opponents. He will be the next Marcos and will become a puppet of Beijing instead of Washington. I feel for the Philippine People.

      • Duerte can build a wall at the airport. After drugs he needs to stop the illegal mail order prostitute brides. How many old white men have their toy bride ship in? Also stop U.S.dollars being ship back to the PI.

        • It seems as though the PI Pres Duterte may not be coming to Hawaii, if ever. The drug users and pushers and manufacturers here have nothing to worry about and can continue unfettered and unabated to deal to the most frail of our society. They have our liberally watered down Constitution to fall back on based on their personal definitions of what our freedoms pertain to and how it is interpreted by our toothless court system.

      • IRT South – If Duturte continues on the same path, he’s likely to be killed by his own body guards or military. There’s no way the Generals sits back while he dumps the mutual defense treaty and “shifts” to China or Russia.
        It’s like the american diplomat said, “don’t underestimate the power of the people and their affinity for the US”.

    • But his only boss is the Filipino people. If they vote him in, then he’ll stay in power. Right now, his popularity in his country is at an all time high.

      • Last time I checked you were made of curds, whey, high-fructose corn syrup and Polysorbate-90 (to improve freshness). And orange … very orange.

      • Are we absolutely certain President D is not a covert CIA agent? His cover story is impeccable so far. When Marcos was ousted, did they come here and wasn’t HPS in charge of protecting them here?

  • Let’s put Duterte to the test. How about we start the breakup by deporting all Philippine nationals currently working in the U.S. and sending money home to the Philippines to support their families. My guess is that would cause a surge in “people power” that Duterte could not ignore.

  • He is an embarrassment, a fool and murderous fascist. We’ve seen his ilk before rise in the muck of desperate poverty, corruption and injustice. It’s a small step from arbitrarily killing criminals, to political opponents or anybody he deems an enemy of the state. It is easy to achieve order through a dictatorial madman if you are willing to trade your freedom and laws for them.

  • You know, if he wants to end joint exercises with the U.S., let’s end them! We can save a lot of money, yes? And, do we really need a presence that area? Let them deal with their fishing problems with China!

    What is really scary about Duterte’s is that he sounds so much like, Trump; and vice versa!

  • The United States should close up shop (Embassy and $billions in military and humanitarian aid) like we did to Cuba. There’s other ally country leaders in the Southeast that are more than willing to be our friends and treat us with respect.

    • Right, U.S. should cut ties. He is playing us. I actually think he is dealing with Russia and China to see who will cut him a deal over South China Seas claims. There are lots of chinese in the Philippines that control rice productions.

  • This guy is a nut but he is AWESOME. Kill those dam drug lords and take back your country. I sure hope America elects Trump so we to can have a President who GETS STUFF DONE and does not care about what other people say ! He is doing what is best for his country !

  • This one is even worse than Marcos! And again wIth overwhelming support from the filipino people! How do the people of the Philippines reconcile supporting this “goon” with wanting to come over here and becoming American citizens? These actions contradict each other.

  • The Obama administration has caused these problems. America should have dealt with Dutertre privately and not in public. A president does not have to be a diplomat
    and Dutetre is not one for sure. America needs the Philippines more than ever but has showed disrespect towards the country and its people. Its about time for the Philippines
    to chart their own foreign policy with their neighbors. America is not a neighbor. The Philippines will fare much better with good relationships with their neighbor China.
    Soon we will see the Russian, Chinese and North Korean navies docked in Americas former beloved Subic Bay. Let’s face it America did not liberate the Philippines
    to free its people. America liberated the Philippines to defeat the Japanese. Most of the critics of Dutetre have never been too the Philippines. Extra Judicial Killing is wrong
    unfortunately no one has come up with a better plan to save this narco country. Another country lost under the Obama administration.

    • Since we never owned it, we can’t lose it. Unless, of course, you believe that liberating means taking ownership. By the way, there is evidence to suggest the U.S. didn’t liberate the Philippines to defeat Japan; we could have bypassed the Philippines as we did so many other strongholds and went straight for the home islands, thereby avoiding the heavy casualties of the Philippines campaign. The decision to liberate the Philippines was heavily influenced by the desires (and ego) of General Douglas MacArthur who may may have been more interested in wiping out memories of his earlier “defense” of the Philippines.

    • willman, you contradict yourself. You say we are not a neighbor. then speak as if we owned the Philippines ? Liberation of any nation always has 2 objectives. Furthermore, I don’t recall anyone anywhere referring to the Philippines as a “narco country” before this clown rose to power.

      • They produce meth down there. They get their chemicals from China. They are competing with the Mexicans for the Hawaii market. Mexicans also get their chemicals from China. Ever since DEA started to clamp down on Meth precursor chemicals in the U.S., productions shifted south of the border and into Asia.

  • Filipinos elected this uneducated country boy and the US MAY elect his equivalent in Donald Trump !! Let this idiot run into Russia and China’s arms. His “people” will lynch him, just like the people he’s having killed right now. He’ll be hanging from a lamp post like the thug he is !!! Funny how the people who are jealous of others’ success have turned to an attitude of intolerance. It’s like they get satisfaction watching others suffer. Only thing is, it doesn’t improve their lot in life one bit. Auwe ………

  • Yeah, we should murder every drug user alcoholic cigarette smoker gambler pakalolo smoker shoplifter drunk driver tax cheat prostitute client of prostitute spouse abuser animal abuser
    Car thief etc.
    Anyone who has done something “wrong” should be murdered.
    We don’t care if they may be innocent, just shot em!
    What dangerous thinking! Nazis? ISIS? Taliban?

  • Duterte is easy to deal with, just most countries don’t want to stoop that low. Flatter him, tell him he’s handsome and throw some hookers at him and he’ll do whatever you tell him to like a puppy dog.

  • We should breakup with the Flip alliance and let’s see them align themselves with Russia and China and let them appreciate those 2 countries. Why should we cater to these Flips and send millions in aid……c’mon Obamma, show some backbone…..if Duterte wants to breakup with the U.S. let’s go on our merry way and said our foreign aid to that dirt country…nothing more and nothing less.

  • This guy sure doesn’t know how to keep his big mouth shut … I’d love to see him get into a shooting war w/ the Chinese over the Spratley Islands … he’ll get his butt kicked so bad !!!!!

  • look at all the money we would save if we pulled out……picked up our marbles and stomped home with a big pouty lip?

    where ever there is a vacuum, something rushes in.

    will this country turn into another Venezuela?…..I hope not……they are too big to fail?

  • All people from the U.S., Europe, Australia, etc. need to get out of the Philippines before this insane person acts on his threats against them.

  • Why do you think the U.S. tolerates the abusive language of Détente? It’s because the U.S. needs the cooperation of the Philippines as a forward staging area and listening post against China. Location, location, location applies to military strategy as well as selling real estate. So before our super patriots start clamoring to end all association with the Philippines, the real truth is, we need them as well as they need us. As for the war against drugs, Obama could take a few lesson from Duterte.

  • Unfortunately, I suspect the War On Drugs without trial in the Philippines is probably a smokescreen and developing into an excuse to kill any and all who oppose Duterte . He comes from Davao, Mindanao — a region that practiced extra-judicial killings of suspected Communists during Marcos’ reign and where constabulary forces who did these extra-judicial killings were never brought to justice. Kill somebody and say they’re Communist rebels. Kill somebody and plant some drugs.

    • Yes, one of his “victims” was his son’s business rival. No real evidence that he was into drugs but he got shot anyway. Only reason people have been giving is that he was Duterte’s son’s competitor.

  • Nothing but the whining of a snot nosed, legend in his own mind, supot, little step child. Overdue for a trip to the woodshed and a personal meeting with a strong switch.

  • So, I understand there are many American companies who have moved services from America to the Philippines one company from Hawaii, (Hawaiian Air-reservations). I recall making a call to one of my credit card accounts and landed up talking to a representative in the Philippines.
    I wonder with all this flap from Duterte if these American companies will pull the plug and exit the Philippines??

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