The foul-mouthed Philippine leader, who believes journalists deserve to die and has told public to “go ahead and kill” drug addicts on several occasions, is once again making headlines for crude remarks. However, this time around, his comments were aimed at Philip Goldberg, the United States’ ambassador to the island nation.
President Rodrigo Duterte was discussing his recent political campaign with soldiers at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City when he singled out Goldberg, who has served as ambassador to the country since 2013.
“I am OK with him," Duterte said of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, before adding, "I quarreled with his 'bakla' [gay] ambassador. I am pissed with him. He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that. That son of a b**** really annoyed me.”
Back in April, Goldberg had criticized Duterte after he made a tasteless joke about the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill during a 1989 Davao City prison riot.
“They raped her, lined up for her,” Duterte said at the time. “I was mad because she was raped? Yes. That’s one reason. But she was so beautiful. The mayor should have been first.”
Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely responded to the offensive remarks by saying that the violence against women should not be "trivialized," and Goldberg agreed with her.
“I can only agree with the colleague from the Australian Embassy,” he said in an interview aired by CNN Philippines. “Any statements by anyone, anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder, are not ones that we condone.”
The then-presidential hopeful, in his usual boorish fashion, slammed the ambassador over what he called “interfering in the Philippines' national elections,” threatening to sever all diplomatic ties with Washington if Goldberg did not “shut [his] mouth.”
“We’ve seen those inappropriate comments made about (U.S.) Ambassador (Philip) Goldberg. He’s a multi-time ambassador, one of our most senior diplomats,” said U.S. State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau.
The U.S. government reportedly summoned the charge d'affaires of the Philippine embassy to clarify the “inappropriate comments.” However, Trudeau declined to disclose the meeting between U.S. officials and CDA Patrick Chuasoto.
“I’m not going to read out that detailed conversation, but it was specifically on those remarks,” she added.
The brash president, who puts Donald Trump to shame, recently denounced the United States for bringing terrorism to Middle East countries, causing problems for itself and worldwide.