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Philippines: Duterte Calls Obama ‘Son of a Whore’ Again in ‘Goodbye’ to America

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is currently in Beijing, where he declared that “America has lost” the alliance with Manila and that he will work to strengthen ties with China, a nation that has usurped large swaths of Philippine territory in the South China Sea.

In the process of saying “goodbye” to America, Duterte once again referred to President Barack Obama as a “son of a whore,” according to the Agence France-Presse.

“Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend,” Duterte said this week in Beijing, referring to the United States and referring to President Obama with the vulgar phrase he has used against him – among other world leaders, notably Pope Francis – in the past. The Philippine Star describes this speech as a “40-minute speech peppered with expletives.”

Duterte last used the insult against President Obama in September during a summit in Asia. He did not apologize, and President Obama met personally with Duterte anyway. President Obama dismissed the insult as a result of how Duterte is used to speaking and noted that he was in good company with the pope.

“In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States both in the military … not social, but economics also. America has lost. I have separated from them so I will be dependent on you [China] for a long time, but don’t worry, we will also help,” he said.

“I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world – China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way,” he added, according to Reuters.

“I will not go to America anymore. I will just be insulted there,” he added, before clarifying that he had never been in the United States because “they won’t give me a visa.” Duterte has been accused of human rights violations in the drug war he led as mayor of southern Davao City, which he has continued as president. Individuals accused of such crimes struggle to receive the proper permissions to enter the United States.

The Chinese government – which has usurped Philippine territory in the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal, forcing Philippine fishermen out of fishing grounds within the nation’s exclusive economic zone – has commended Duterte for his stance.

“The Chinese people are passionate about peace,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said of the meeting. Her boss, President Xi Jinping, echoed her sentiments.

“China and the Philippines have had foundation for friendship for generations and no reason for hostility or confrontation. Both sides should spare no efforts to promote neighborly relations,” he said, according to state-run news outlet Xinhua. “It is political wisdom and a successful practice worth passing down as well as an important foundation for the healthy and stable growth of China-Philippines relations.”

Xi also reportedly suggested that the Philippines and China hold bilateral “activities” to celebrate an ancient diplomatic visit from the Philippines to China, though he did not specify whether this would involve military activities or merely civilian parade celebrations.

The White House has reacted to Duterte’s statements by noting that Manila has taken no official actions to back up his statements, not even canceling joint military exercises, which Duterte has repeatedly stated he would do. “The U.S.-Philippine alliance is built on a 70-year history, rich people to people ties and a long list of shared security concerns. We have not received any official requests from Filipino officials to alter any of our many issues where we bilaterally cooperate,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

While Duterte remains extremely popular since becoming president in June, he may face a political challenge if he continues to disregard that China is encroaching upon and colonizing Philippine territory. China has constructed major military and civilian facilities in the South China Sea, in addition to expelling Philippine anglers from their own waters. Philippine Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio warned last week that Duterte may face impeachment if he does not uphold the constitution and protect the nation’s territory.

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