Duterte threatens to burn S’pore flag

Even the affable Pope Francis fell foul of Rodrigo Duterte’s tongue in the staunchly Catholic Philippines. Source: Flickr

Philippine’s outspoken presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte says he will burn the Singaporean flag after the city-state’s embassy said it was seeking legal advice over a “misleading” Facebook post.

Duterte told a rally in Daet, Camarines Norte province: “Look for a flag of Singapore. I’ll burn it.”

He then reportedly used an expletive and raised his middle finger.

Duterte had just heard the Singaporean embassy in Manila was seeking legal advice over a “misleading” Facebook post saying Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was endorsing the Davao mayor for president.

The Facebook post showed Lee with the caption: “Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the only presidential candidate that could make Philippines like Singapore.”

About the offending Facebook post, Singapore’s embassy said: “This is untrue. Singapore does not endorse any candidate. The choice is for Filipinos alone to make. We wish the Philippines well in the conduct of its elections.”

It later added: “We also request the immediate removal of the post, which is a clear misrepresentation.”

Duterte, 71, is leading polls to win the May 9 election with his nearest rival is the respected senator, Grace Poe, 47.

Many Filipinos see him as an unpretentious, straight-talking crime-buster who will fix a broken system.

Meanwhile, his adversary Senator Antonio Trillanes has released a list of Duterte’s properties.

The majority of the properties were in the names of his children Sara, Sebastian and Paolo.

A property in Davao was put in trust for Veronica Avancena Duterte, his 11-year-old daughter.

Trillanes said while Duterte said he was pro-poor he had 2.4 billion pesos (US$51 million) in his bank accounts, which he did not declare in his statement of assets.

Trillanes, who is running for vice president as an independent, said that he was still validating other information about the mayor’s assets.

In 1995, the mayor led around 1,000 Davao municipal employees in burning a Singaporean flag over the execution of Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino maid, in the city-state.

Contemplacion was convicted of murdering another Filipino maid, Delia Maga, and a four-year-old boy.

Duterte in November “cursed” Pope Francis for causing traffic congestion in Manila during his visit to the Philippines earlier in January.