Phillippine leader Rodrigo Duterte humiliated Barack Obama on Tuesday when he told him “you can go to hell” during a speech in which he also said he may eventually decide to “break up with America.”
Ever since Duterte became president back in June, he has clashed with Obama as he has announced intention to bolster his country’s relationship with China and Russia. The Associated Press reported that Duterte has been criticized by Obama, The European Union, and the United Nations for his crackdown on drugs that has left an estimated 3,000 suspected drug dealers and drug pushers dead in just three months.
During today’s speech, Duterte slammed the U.S. for asking him to stop the killings and painted 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.
“Eventually I might, in my time, I will break up with America,” he later added without elaborating. “I would rather go to Russia and to China.”
A clearly-stunned White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said after the speech 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.”
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