Oops! Duterte says he has just ‘finished the war in Malaysia’
Eschewing soaring rhetoric, President Rodrigo Duterte last night tried one of his homespun “straight-from-the-heart” talks on senior government leaders from different Asean (Association of Southeast Asia Nations) countries who were gathered at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.
He ended up with a slip of the tongue or two.
Speaking before the a high-level “Forum on Asean at 50,” Mr. Duterte said he had just “finished the war in Malaysia” (instead of Marawi) while discussing the need to address the problem of piracy in the Strait of Malacca and in the Celebes and Sulu seas.
“I think that has to stop. I just finished the war in Malaysia. And then perhaps I can refocus the entire Armed Forces to deal with this problem, once and for all,” the President told his audience, which included former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Blast them out of the seas to keep our shipping lanes open,” the President said of the pirates. “They have committed piracy there (with) enough money collected from ransom. Needlessly killing people and decapitating them before the cameras. I think that has to stop.”
The President said that he would talk with other Asean leaders on how to deal with piracy.
Mr. Duterte slipped for the second time when he tried to explain that he “was not trained” to regale audiences with soaring or bombastic rhetoric but that he was used to delivering “straight-from-the-heart” talks, which had endeared him to his supporters.
“I have not been trained to do it that way. I was just trained to just talk, pour your heart out, convey your message and the — watch your mouth,” he said, describing his folksy style.
And then he slipped, saying that he would be the “most condescending President in front of you” when he apparently meant “the most polite.”
“With your indulgence, I will be the most courteous, ever the most condescending President in front of you,” he said.
The President has gained notoriety for cussing in his public speeches but those close to him say that he is “polite and courteous” up close.
Continuing with his speech, the President again blasted Western countries for criticizing the Philippine government due to the extrajudicial killings in the bloody war against drugs.
“Please do not impose your will on us. Do not derogate our sovereignty by lecturing on us, the civilities of a country which we turn a democratic state,” he said.
“If you cannot stop interfering, at least be educated in your assessment. For after all, all countries suffer from social problems,” he added.
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