Duterte causes a stir by call­ing US en­voy ‘gay’

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PHILIP­PINES Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte has sparked a fresh diplo­matic row with his colour­ful lan­guage, call­ing the United States am­bas­sador “gay” in comments that prompted Wash­ing­ton to sum­mon Manila’s en­voy to com­plain.

In the lat­est of se­ries of tirades, Mr Duterte used a lo­cal Ta­ga­log lan­guage ho­mo­pho­bic slur to ex­press his dis­plea­sure with US am­bas­sador Philip Gold­berg in tele­vised comments made on Au­gust 5.

“As you know, I’m fight­ing with [US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry’s] am­bas­sador. His gay am­bas­sador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off,” Mr Duterte said.

Mr Duterte, 71, surged to power with a land­slide in May fol­low­ing an in­cen­di­ary cam­paign in which he glee­fully used foul lan­guage to dis­re­spect author­ity fig­ures, from his lo­cal po­lit­i­cal ri­vals to the pope.

He first came into con­flict with Mr Gold­berg on the cam­paign trail, af­ter he said he wanted to rape a “beau­ti­ful” Aus­tralian mis­sion­ary who was sex­u­ally as­saulted and mur­dered in a 1989 prison riot in Davao, the city he ruled with an iron fist for two decades.

Mr Gold­berg and the Aus­tralian am­bas­sador both strongly crit­i­cised these comments.

“He med­dled dur­ing the elec­tions, giv­ing state­ments here and there. He was not sup­posed to do that,” Mr Duterte said.

The US State De­part­ment said that the Filipino charge d’af­faires, Pa­trick Chua­soto, had been sum­moned on Au­gust 8 to dis­cuss Mr Duterte’s comments. –

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