If you thought our 2016 Presidential elections were a circus, we are not the only country making news of politicians behaving badly. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has found himself in hot water recently after attacking Barack Obama publicly and even comparing himself to Hitler.
About Rodrigo Duterte
At the age of 71, one would think a seasoned politician would have learned his Ps and Qs. But that’s not the case for the current president of the Philippines. Both a scientist and a lawyer, Duterte started his political prowess with what seemed to be good intentions. He was known for his stance and help on the persecution and extrajudicial execution of drug criminals.
However, his political career has been riddled with rumors of vigilante groups killing over 1,400 people over the years, and earlier this year the Commission on Human Rights launched an investigation. The final outcome yielded no hard results linking Duterte to the vigilante group Davao Death Squad, and he was cleared of any involvement. In May 2016, Duterte was elected as the 16th President of the Philippines.
Recent Tirades and Incidents
“Son of a Bitch” is the first phrase that hit the news from the vulgar and outspoken President when referring to Barack Obama. Obama learned of the insult after meeting with officials in Hangzhou, China. He cancelled his meeting with the leader, stating to reporters, “I always want to make sure that if I’m having a meeting, that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done.”
“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there is 3 million, what is it, 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines), there are”, Duterte spouted to his supporters in Davoa City. “I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me). You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”
The Jewish community was outraged by the implied connection and justification of killing 6 million Jews during the reign of Hitler. Duterte quickly issued an apology to the world stating, “I would like to make it now, here and now, that there was never an intention on my part to derogate the memories of six million Jews murdered by the Germans.”
Obama Tirade No. 2
Just days after renouncing his connection to Hitler, Duterte wasn’t done with our current President of the United States. In the most recent tirade, he told Obama that he could “go to hell.” Duterte was responding to Obama’s criticism of his deadly anti-drug campaign. He even went a step further, and indicated that he wants to reduce US military presence in his country. Duterte has only been in office for roughly four months, but has certainly hit the ground running when it comes to politicians behaving badly.
The question is, what will the world do with another outrageous and potentially dangerous national leader? Will the United States continue to reach out and try to find common ground? Will other countries find themselves at the end of the Duterte barrel?
No one really knows what this new President will have in store for not only his own country, but the world, as he continues to make headlines, insult millions of people, and personally attack some of the most powerful leaders in the world.
Only time will tell how his “political” approach will impact his own country and the world.