Philip­pines’ Duterte threat­ens to ex­pel Euro­pean di­plo­mats

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL -

MANILA: Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte threat­ened Thurs­day to ex­pel Euro­pean am­bas­sadors, ac­cus­ing their gov­ern­ments with­out cit­ing ev­i­dence of plot­ting to get Manila ex­pelled from the UN.

Duterte sig­nalled in a fiery speech he would not tol­er­ate Euro­pean crit­i­cism of his drug war, which has seen po­lice kill at least 3,850 peo­ple since he took of­fice 15 months ago and led rights groups to warn of a po­ten­tial crime against hu­man­ity.

Duterte ac­cused the EU of in­ter­fer­ing in the Philip­pines’ do­mes­tic af­fairs, and al­leged it wanted to get the Philip­pines ex­pelled from the UN.

“Just like that you tell us: ‘You will be ex­cluded in the UN’. Son of a whore go ahead,” Duterte told re­porters, adding Euro­pean na­tions were tak­ing ad­van­tage of the Philip­pines be­ing poor.

“You give us money then you start to or­ches­trate what things should be done and which should not hap­pen in our coun­try. You bull­shit. We are past the col­o­niza­tion stage. Don’t f*** with us.”

Duterte said he was pre­pared to kick Euro­pean am­bas­sadors out of the coun­try if their gov­ern­ments tried to ex­pel the Philip­pines.

“You think we are a bunch of mo­rons here. You are the one. Now the am­bas­sadors of those coun­tries lis­ten­ing now, tell me, be­cause we can have the diplo­matic chan­nel cut to­mor­row. You leave my coun­try in 24 hours, all, all of you.”

The EU has made no pub­lic com­ments about want­ing to re­move the Philip­pines from the UN.

How­ever, the EU Par­lia­ment is­sued a res­o­lu­tion last year ex­press­ing con­cern over the “ex­traor­di­nar­ily high num­bers killed dur­ing po­lice op­er­a­tions” in the drug war.

It urged Duterte to “put an end to the cur­rent wave of ex­tra­ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tions and killings.”

A state­ment re­leased by EU del­e­ga­tion to the Philip­pines on Thurs­day night in re­sponse to Duterte’s com­ments sought to em­pha­size bi­lat­eral co-op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing at the UN.

“The EU and the Philip­pines work con­struc­tively and pro­duc­tively to­gether in a close part­ner­ship in many con­texts and ar­eas, in­clud­ing, of course, in the UN con­text,” the state­ment said.

Duterte’s spokesman was un­avail­able to com­ment on why the pres­i­dent be­lieved the EU was look­ing to re­move the Philip­pines from the UN.

The pres­i­dent’s aides have pre­vi­ously cau­tioned jour­nal­ists not to take all of Duterte’s re­marks lit­er­ally, and that some of his most con­tro­ver­sial state­ments were merely “hy­per­bole” or “rhetoric.”

Duterte won elec­tions last year af­ter vow­ing to erad­i­cate the il­le­gal drug trade in six months, and vow­ing that 100,000 peo­ple would be killed in the process.

Many Filipinos con­tinue to sup­port the crack­down but a sur­vey last month showed the first ma­jor drop in Duterte’s pop­u­lar­ity.

Ro­drigo Duterte

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