Considering the kind of vitriol Donald Trump has spewed against Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, disabled people and women over the past year, it’s hard to imagine a person more unpleasant than him.
But there’s no need to imagine anymore since there’s an actual person who is far worse than the boorish American billionaire – and is also a front-runner candidate running for president, in the Philippines.
Rodrigo Duterte, who has been the mayor of the southern city of Davao for nearly two decades, set off global outrage last week when he made light of the 1989 gang rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill.
Later, when his daughter, Sara “Inday” Duterte, defended her father’s offensive remarks by claiming she was raped herself, Duterte brushed off her support saying she is a “drama queen” and that “she can’t be raped — she carries a gun.”
When a women’s group called Women Against Duterte filed a complaint against him at the Commission on Human Rights, in the wake of his rape comment, he dismissed the group as “silly” and told its members to “go to hell."
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Many will recognize Duterte as the Filipino politician who prompted outrage last year when he called Pope Francis a "son of a w***e" as the Holy Father visited the nation of 1.2 billion Catholics in November.
While one would think such pathetic display of misogyny, sexism and downright vulgarity would cost Duterte his popularity, the opposite is happening.
As it turns out, Duterte is the "clear front-runner", according to the poll by research institute Social Weather Stations.
"Mayor Duterte has been steadily gaining ground. It's a clear lead. The joke could have affected him in such a way that his score could have even been higher had it not been for that news," Social Weather Stations spokesman Leo Laroza told AFP.
Emboldened by the radical support, Duterte made yet another bizarre statement this week, vowing to kill his own children if he discovered they were taking illegal drugs.
During a televised debate, when someone asked the 71-year-old mayor what he would do if he found his children were involved in drugs, he replied: “I will kill him.”
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Although the foul-mouthed mayor has been dubbed his country’s Donald Trump, it wouldn’t be wrong to say the Republican front-runner, with all the faults that he possess, is still not as awful as Duterte.