Philip­pine leader tells Obama to ‘ go to hell’

> Duterte hints at sev­er­ing ties with US ‘in my time’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MANILA: Philip­pine leader Ro­drigo Duterte on Tues­day told US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to “go to hell” and said the US had re­fused to sell some weapons to his coun­try but he did not care be­cause Rus­sia and China were will­ing sup­pli­ers.

In his lat­est salvo, Duterte said he was re­align­ing his for­eign pol­icy be­cause the US had failed the Philippines and added that at some point, “I will break up with Amer­ica”. It was not clear what he meant by “break up”.

Dur­ing three tan­gen­tial and fiercely worded speeches in Manila, Duterte said the US did not want to sell mis­siles and other weapons, but Rus­sia and China had told him they could pro­vide them eas­ily.

“If you don’t want to sell arms, I’ll go to Rus­sia. I sent the gen­er­als to Rus­sia and Rus­sia said ‘do not worry, we have ev­ery­thing you need, we’ll give it to you’.

“And as for China, they said ‘just come over and sign and ev­ery­thing will be de­liv­ered’,” he said.

His com­ments were the lat­est in a near­daily bar­rage of hos­til­ity to­wards the US, dur­ing which Duterte has started to con­trast the for­mer colo­nial power with its geopo­lit­i­cal ri­vals Rus­sia and China.

In Wash­ing­ton, US of­fi­cials down­played Duterte’s com­ments, say­ing they were “at odds” with the two coun­tries’ warm re­la­tion­ship and decades-long al­liance.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there has been no com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Philippines about mak­ing changes in that re­la­tion­ship.

Earnest did not, how­ever, back down from crit­i­cism of Duterte’s tac­tics in his deadly war on drugs.

On Sun­day, Duterte said he had re­ceived sup­port from Rus­sia and China when he com­plained to them about the US.

He said the US should have sup­ported the Philippines in tack­ling its chronic drugs prob­lems but that in­stead it had crit­i­cised him for the high death toll, as did the EU.

“In­stead of help­ing us, the first to hit was the State De­part­ment. So you can go to hell, Mr Obama, you can go to hell,” he said.

“EU, bet­ter choose pur­ga­tory. Hell is full al­ready. Why should I be afraid of you?”

At a later speech he said he was emo­tional be­cause the US had not been a friend of the Philippines since his elec­tion in May.

“They just ... rep­ri­mand an­other pres­i­dent in front of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he told the Jewish com­mu­nity at a syn­a­gogue.

“This is what hap­pens now, I will be re­con­fig­ur­ing my for­eign pol­icy. Even­tu­ally, I might in my time, break up with Amer­ica.”

It was not clear if by his “time”, he was re­fer­ring to his six-year of­fice term. – Reuters


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Chan, dressed as Santa Claus, feeds fish dur­ing Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties at the Un­der­wa­ter World Sin­ga­pore aquar­ium on Dec 20, 2013.

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