President Rodrigo Duterte extends his middle finger to the European Union. Source: YouTube
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has used agricultural language to respond to the European Union’s questions about extra-judicial executions, a week after he was accused of killing around 1,000 people during his mayorship of the southern city of Davao.
European parliamentarians voiced concern over the “extraordinarily high numbers killed” during the combative president’s anti-drug campaign.
Around 3,500 people are estimated to have been killed since Duterte took office in June.
“MEPs urge the Philippines government to put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings, launch an immediate investigation into them and adopt specific, comprehensive policies and programmes in full compliance with national and international obligations and respect for human rights,” MEPs said in a statement.
Many might see it as a sober response to the killings but Duterte seemed unimpressed.
The president said: “I read the condemnation of the EU against me. I will tell them, ‘f*** you.’ You’re doing it in atonement for your sins.”
He added that European countries were hypocritical because they had their own histories of bloodshed, “and the EU now has the gall to condemn me. I repeat it, ‘f*** you’.” He flashed a raised middle finger as he spoke to the media in Davao.
Duterte singled out France and Britain for joining the US in attacking countries in West Asia in recent years and said history books were littered with examples of atrocities committed by European powers.
The EU delegation in Manila declined to comment on Duterte’s comments.
Duterte recently called US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” when asked about how he would respond to questions on the same subject.
“The European Union and the Philippines enjoy good relations, and we will continue to discuss this issue, among many others, in our bilateral contacts and with the authorities,” the EU stated.
Other targets of Duterte’s tongue include Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
His May election victory was largely attributed to his promise to put an end to criminality and the archipelago’s drug problems in six months. He made it clear that police who killed drug users or dealers would not face prosecution. Since he took office on June 30, around 16,000 people have been arrested while more than 700,000 have surrendered themselves.
The BBC reported that many of those who surrender to the police were released but found dead a few days after giving their details to the authorities.