Updated: Jan 20, 2020
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says most Americans are idiots
US citizen's 'should just shut up', flamboyant leader tells an audience
President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has declared “for every five Americans, three are idiots".
The flamboyant leader made the comments after receiving international condemnation for his claims that he enjoyed driving around killing people during his term as mayor of Davao City.
“The problem with these white people,” Mr Duterte told an audience in mixed English and Tagalog on Thursday, “these American blockheads, is that for every five Americans, three out of five are idiots, and only two are in their right minds".
“You Americans should just shut up,” he added, according to Philippine TV outlet ABS-CBN.
The US has threatened to halt a major aid package to the country over concerns about extrajudicial killings in the leader’s war on drugs, which has left at least 6,000 dead.
In response, the leader threatened to tear up an agreement that allowed US troops to visit the Philippines.
On Thursday the Philippine independent rights watchdog said it will begin a probe into Mr Rodrigo's claims of personally killing people. It comes after the UN human rights chief called for an official investigation.
Foul-mouthed Duterte demonstrated in Beijing he can be the perfect statesman (when he wants to be)
Many international readers were no doubt introduced to Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte through one of his profanity-laced tirades against various international leaders and institutions. Anyone “disrespectful” enough to question his war on drugs (because, say, it involves extrajudicial killings by the thousands) has been subject to the mercurial leader’s quick temper and coarse language.
But as he’s shown this week on a state visit to Beijing, Duterte can also play the courteous statesman.
“People are used to seeing a Duterte who is invective-laced in his speeches, but in China, not a single expletive, and an extremely measured and statesman-like Duterte,” said Richard Javad Heydarian, a political scientist at De La Salle University in Manila.
Of course, given the power relationship between China and the Philippines, Duterte risks appearing not just statesman-like, but obsequious. After all, the previous Philippine administration challenged China’s aggression in the South China Sea by winning a case against it in an international tribunal. Duterte, who assumed power in late June, has shown little inclination to offend China by pressing claims from that headline-grabbing victory. Instead he’s turned away from the West, particularly the US, and toward China, much to Beijing’s delight.