MANILA, Philippines, Sep 21 – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has launched a profanity-filled tirade against the European Union, in his latest riposte to international criticism of the rising death toll in his brutal crackdown on crime.
Duterte punctuated his insults with a rude sign raising his middle finger after the European Parliament condemned “the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings in the Philippines”.
“I say to them, f*** you. You’re doing it in atonement for your sins,” he told local officials in his southern home city of Davao late Tuesday in comments filmed by broadcaster ABS-CBN.
The 71-year-old leader had reacted along similar lines to earlier foreign criticism of his drug war, calling US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and cursing the United Nations.
Duterte won elections in a landslide in May after vowing to eradicate the illegal drug trade in six months, and promising that 100,000 criminals would be killed in the process.
Since he took office on June 30 about 3,000 people have been killed, about a third of them suspects shot dead by police and the rest murdered by unidentified attackers, according to police statistics.
Duterte said on Sunday he needed to extend his crime war for another six months because the drug problem was worse than he expected.
The EU parliament last week said it was concerned about the “extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations … in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign”.
Duterte must “put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings … (and) launch an immediate investigation into (them)”, the EU resolution said.
Singling out France and Britain, Duterte said the parliament’s members were “hypocrites” whose colonial-era ancestors killed “thousands” of Arabs and other peoples.
“They’re taking the high ground to assuage their feelings of guilt. But who did I kill? Assuming it to be true, 1,700, who are they? Criminals. You call that genocide,” he said.
“Now the EU has the gall to condemn me. So I repeat it. F*** you,” he said, raising his middle finger.
In a separate speech on Tuesday, Duterte also repeated a vow to shield police or soldiers from prosecution.
“If you massacre a hundred and you also number a hundred, why, all of you will get pardons. Restored to full political and civil rights plus a promotion to boot,” he told soldiers during a visit to a military camp.