Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told his US ally Barack Obama “you can go to hell” in a speech on Tuesday that was his latest tirade against the US over its criticism of his deadly anti-drug campaign.
He also lashed out anew at the European Union, saying the 28-nation bloc, which has also criticised his brutal crackdown, “better choose purgatory, hell is filled up.”
Watch What Else is Making news
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
Duterte, who took office in June, has been hypersensitive to criticism over his crackdown, which has left more than an estimated 3,000 suspected drug dealers and pushers dead in just three months, alarming the United Nations, the EU, the US and human rights watchdogs.
The tough-talking former city mayor, who describes himself as a left-leaning leader, has had an uneasy relationship with the US and with Obama and has declared intentions to bolster relations with China and Russia as he revamps the country’s foreign policy that has long leaned on Washington.
In a speech before a local convention attended by officials and business executives, Duterte outlined his disappointments with the US, which has asked his government to stop the widespread killings under his anti-drug campaign and has questioned whether human rights are being violated.
He also described Washington as an unreliable ally, saying Filipino forces have not benefited from joint combat exercises with US troops.
“Instead of helping us, the first to criticize is this State Department, so you can go to hell, Mr Obama, you can go to hell,” Duterte said. Then addressing the EU, he said: “Better choose purgatory, hell is filled up.”
Angered by US criticism, Duterte has made a series of public pronouncements that he could scale back the activities and presence of visiting US troops in the country.
He said he wanted them out of the volatile south, saying their presence has inflamed restiveness among minority Muslims, which could complicate efforts to forge a peace accord with Muslim insurgents.
Duterte has announced he will not allow the Philippine navy to conduct joint patrols with the US military in the disputed South China Sea because it could spark an armed conflict in Philippine territory.
Still, Duterte has said he will not abrogate a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the US and will maintain the long alliance with America, one of his country’s largest trading partners and provider of development and military aid and defense equipment.
Last week, Duterte said the joint US-Philippine combat exercises to be held this week, the first of his presidency, would also be the last of his tenure. The exercises, centering on amphibious landing drills, started today under some uncertainty because of those remarks.
Marine commanders from both sides said at the opening ceremony that the exercises, involving 1,100 American and 400 Filipino military personnel, are aimed at improving readiness by the two countries to respond to a range of crises while deepening their historic ties.