Philippines and the US: From Allies to Uncomfortable Acquaintances

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on Tumblr

Source: Telesur TV / The Dawn News / September 7, 2016obama_duterte.jpg_1718483346

The President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, and his US counterpart Barack Obama had announced their plans to review bilateral relations. The meeting was supposed to be held during the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in Laos, but that was before the media published that he had allegedly called Barack Obama a “son of a bitch”.

Last Monday 5, before his trip to Laos, Duterte was asked about Obama’s declarations regarding his anti-drug war methods. Duterte said that Barack Obama better not question him about extrajudicial killings, or “son of a bitch I will swear at you”.

Due to these declarations, the White House decided to postpone the meeting.

In context

The electoral campaign of the Philippine President promised to end with drug trafficking in the first six months of his mandate. After taking office, he has repeatedly encouraged Police and citizens to kill drug traffickers and drug addicts.

According to international media, between July 1st and August 31st, 929 people died during police operations and 1,507 in extrajudicial executions related to Duterte’s anti-drug agenda.

Duterte responded bluntly to Obama’s criticism: “We inherited this problem from the United States” he said. “Why? Because they invaded our country and made us their subjugated people. Everybody has a terrible record of extrajudicial killing. Why make an issue about fighting crime?”.

On Sunday, Duterte pointed out the double-standards of the U.S. and United Nations for criticizing human rights abuses abroad while failing to stem violence in their own backyards.

Referring to the spate of police shootings of Black men captured on videotape, he said: “Why are you Americans killing the Black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?” he said. “Answer that question, because even if it’s just one or two or three, it still represents a violation of Human Rights”.

His remarks were made as part of a press conference that began shortly after midnight Sunday and did not conclude until the early hours of the morning. Duterte also told reporters he was considering leaving the U.N., whose human rights experts recently criticized the Philippine’s two-fisted crackdown on illegal drugs which has led to the arrests of more than 4,400 people since June 30, when Duterte took office.

“What have you done for the world, United Nations? … You know, if the UN comes here, you tell him straight: Mayor Duterte would only ask five questions to prove that you are stupid.”

Referring to Omran Daqneesh, the soiled and bloodied five-year-old boy who was photographed after an airstrike in Syria’s civil war hit his home, he said: “Look at the iconic boy that was taken out from the rubble and was taken to sit on an ambulance… we all saw it”  said Duterte according to the Associated Press. “Why is it that United States is not doing anything? I do not read you”.

Obama seeks to create bonds with the Philippines as a regional counterbalance to China. He has visited the country twice in his second mandate and announced on a stop there in November the return of a US military presence at a critical naval base on the South China Sea.

Aftermath

Duterte explained his declarations after the meeting was cancelled. On Monday, he said in a statement through his spokesman that the the “son of the bitch” insult was aimed at the journalist whose question prompted such fiery response and that it was not destined at Obama. He then regretted “it came across as a personal attack on the US President”.

“We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions” the statement released on Tuesday read.

The White House now says that Obama may still meet with Duterte, but only informally. “Words matter” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

Philippines’ Duterte Excoriates His Critics, the US and UN

Source: Telesur.philippinesx_duterte_delivers_scathing_indictment_of_u.s.x_u.n.jpg_1718483346
“Why are you Americans killing the Black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?”

Facing mounting international criticism for an anti-drug war that has left an estimated 1,700 dead in just his first seven weeks in office, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday lashed out at both the U.S. and United Nations for criticizing human rights abuses abroad while failing to stem violence in their own backyards.

Referring to the spate of police shootings of Black men captured on videotape, he said: “Why are you Americans killing the Black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?” he said. “Answer that question, because even if it’s just one or two or three, it is still human rights violations.”

His remarks were made as part of a press conference that began shortly after midnight Sunday and did not conclude until the early hours of the morning. Duterte also told reporters he was considering leaving the U.N., whose human rights experts recently criticized the Philippine’s two-fisted crackdown on illegal drugs which has led to the arrests of more than 4,400 people since June 30, when Duterte took office.

“What have you done for the world, Mr. United Nations? … You know, if he comes here, you tell him straight: Mayor Duterte would only ask five questions to prove that you are stupid.”

Referring to Omran Daqneesh, the soiled and bloodied five-year-old boy who was photographed after an airstrike in Syria’s civil war hit his home, he said: “Look at the iconic boy that was taken out from the rubble and he was made to sit in the ambulance and we saw it,” said Duterte according to the Associated Press. “Why is it that United States is not doing anything? I do not read you.”

Duterte campaigned on a tough-on-crime platform and doubled down on the rhetoric in his inaugural address, inviting both vigilantes and Maoist rebels to murder suspected drug dealers extrajudicially.

The tough-talking former mayor of a city in the southern Philippines, Duterte’s approval ratings remain high, despite estimates that as many as 900 of the Filipinos slain on his watch had no connection to the illegal drug trade. Witnesses report that many of those killed have been shot in the back-of-the-head execution style, and a recent report by the Philippine Human Rights Commission revealed that a man and his son had their limbs broken before they were fatally shot.

The Philippine Human Rights Commission said autopsies carried on the man and his son showed they had suffered broken limbs before being shot three times.

“There was torture,” said a commissioner.

For his part, Duterte acknowledged the violence. “I admit many are dying but our campaign, now … we have momentum,” he said.

Asked about the possible repercussions of his remarks, Duterte replied: “I don’t give a sh*t about them. They are the ones interfering.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on Tumblr