Speaking at Manila’s airport after a trip to Beijing and prior to a visit to Japan, Duterte referred to comments made by U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg regarding Duterte’s human rights record.
“You know I didn’t start this fight,” said Duterte. “They started it. They started it, then came out the issue of human rights, the State Department, Obama, EU. They did this to me. Then they said, we will cut our assistance. So I said to them, ‘son of a bitch, do not make us your dogs, as if I am a dog with a leash, and you throw some bread, where I can’t reach.’ The ambassador said something not very nice. You are not supposed to do that because in an election of another country, you should be careful with your mouth,” CNN reported.
Duterte was elected president in June, promising to end the Philippines’ drug trade. In his first few months in office, thousands of alleged drug dealers and users have been either jailed or killed, some by vigilante groups.
Duterte’s four-day trip to China reinforced cultural and economic ties between the Philippines and China, as Duterte announced an unspecified “separation” from the United States, a longtime ally. Last week, though, he attempted to walk away from insults he’d directed at the United States.
In the airport speech he also commented on his announced cancellation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, an expansion of military cooperation enabling the United States to deploy its troops in the Philippines and a key element of President Barack Obama‘s strategic plans for U.S. policy in Asia.
“I do not want to see any military man of any other nation [in the Philippines], except the Filipino soldier. That’s the long and short of it. I want an independent policy where I don’t have to accede to anyone else,” he said.
Speaking Monday to Japan’s TV Asahi, he held up a newspaper showing a headline reading “Duterte’s statements cause distress for business.”
“So leave!” he commented, adding that the Philippines could survive without investors concerned about his combative oratory.