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Duterte no longer cursing but still mad at US

/ 09:56 PM October 29, 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte gestures with a firing stance as he announces issuing side arms to army troopers during his visit to its headquarters in Taguig . In just 100 days in office, Philippine President Duterte has stirred a hornet's nest by picking a fight with Barack Obama, the United Nations, the European Union and others who have criticized his brutal crackdown against drugs that has left more than 3,600 suspects dead. In another defining aspect of his unorthodox rule, the 71-year-old Duterte has pushed back his country's 65-year treaty alliance with the United States while reaching out to China and Russia. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

Keeping to his promise, President Duterte did away with his usual profanities in his first speech on arriving from his three-day state visit to Japan, saying that the voice of God told him to stop cursing.

But his anger at the United States has not simmered down.

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On Saturday, once more vented out his resentment toward the western superpower in a speech in Cotabato City, where he attended the launch of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for ARMM and Other Conflict Affected Areas.

The President noted that US Ambassador Phlip Goldberg, during an interview, appeared oblivious to the reasons for his anger at the US.

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He said he was repeating his explanation so that the US official might understand.

According to him, his resentment against the US goes way back, since it occupied the Philippines for 50 years and ruled by “sheer force,” killing those who refused to be subservient to it, particularly the people of Mindanao.

Another reason for his anger at the US was its expression of concern over the rising number of drug-related killings in the country and its threat to withdraw aid to the Philippines.

“You are criticizing me about drugs,” he said. “I don’t want to kill people – who wants to do that? But you picture me as if I enjoy killing my countrymen.”

He found the US threat to withdraw aid insulting, as if the US regarded the Philippines as a dog on a leash that would need to encourage with a treat.

The Philippines should stop depending on aid from the US, which can take its offer elsewhere, he said.

“You can look for another country that can stomach your insults,” he said. “We Filipinos are not desperate. We can survive.”

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The Philippines can get help from China and Japan, which he visited recently, and even Russia, he added.

He also said the Americans could be easy with words, which these might not matter to them, but Filipinos, including Moros, would be sensitive to insults.

“You do not know what dignity, the pride of a person is,” he said, adding that getting someone to lose face was like slapping him in public.

He said Goldberg started the fight when he commented on an election issue involving him during the campaign, which he should not have been done by an ambassador.

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TAGS: Philip Goldberg, Rodrigo Duterte, US-Philippine relations
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