Duterte slams US, says Philippines no longer a colony
President Rodrigo Duterte has again laid into the United States, saying that if anyone from the country dared lecture him during this week's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit it would be disrespectful to him and his people.
"The Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States,” Duterte said during a pre-departure briefing before he traveled to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, on Monday.
"You must be respectful. You just don’t throw question and statements... I’ll curse you in that forum,” Duterte said, on being asked by journalists how he would deal with questions from the U.S. about human rights and extra-judicial killings issues.
Last month, the U.S. state department and two United Nations human rights experts urged Duterte and Filipino authorities to stop extrajudicial killings taking place in the country in the fight against illegal drugs, while ensuring law enforcement compliance with international human rights obligations.
On Monday, a report from GMA News -- which cited Philippine National Police figures obtained Sunday -- showed that a total of 1,011 people allegedly involved in the drug trade had been killed in a Duterte-led crackdown from July 1- Sept. 4, while almost 15,000 have been arrested.
Nearly 600,000 people have also surrendered to authorities, further overwhelming the Philippines' already overcrowded jails.
"Do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines. I don’t care about him. Who is he?” Duterte said Monday, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama.
"America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds of this country,” citing the 600,000 alleged Moro he said were killed during the American colonizers’ pacification campaign at the turn of the century.
"We have not heard any apology until now,” Duterte underlined. "I do not, I said, I do not kneel down before anybody else, except for the Filipinos in Quiapo walking in misery and in extreme hunger and poverty."
He then stressed that the campaign against drugs would continue "until the last pusher is out of the streets, until the last manufacturer is killed”.
"We will continue, and I will continue and I don’t give a shit about anybody observing my behavior,” the president said.
"You people are too impressed by America, I won’t hesitate to kick him [Obama] in front of everybody.
In an interview Aug. 30, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest is reported to have said: "Obama is certainly not going to pull any punches on human rights during his meeting with Duterte."
"I think the President is going to speak quite directly about our shared interests with the Philippines,'' he added, according to an ABS CBN television report
"Both countries benefit from effective cooperation on a variety of issues, including maritime security. But the president is certainly not going to pull any punches in raising well-documented and relevant concerns when it comes to human rights."
The Philippines is the oldest ally of the U.S. in Asia, but Duterte has not been shy to express his misgivings about the superpower.
Duterte has repeatedly said the Philippines will determine its own destiny without depending on the US.
''I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I don’t have any master except the Filipino. Nobody,'' he said.
Duterte is set to arrive in Laos' capital Vientiane for the ASEAN meeting late Monday.
He has said resident he will seek support from ASEAN member countries in addressing terrorism, is pushing for a drug-free ASEAN, respect for the rule of law and a legally-binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, where the Philippines is involved in an ongoing territorial quarrel with China.
At the end of the summit Thursday, Laos will hand over chair of ASEAN to the Philippines.
Last Modified: 2016-09-06 08:23:58
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