Duterte tells Obama 'you can go to hell' in new tirade

Ma’ Rosa

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama as the two nations began annual joint military drills, saying Obama can "go to hell".

His foreign secretary later said the decision wasn't final.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said this year's PHIBLEX, which wraps up on October 12, will be the last joint war games that will take place during his term which ends in June 2022. Gen. Andre Costales, third from right front row, Commandant of the Philippine Marines Corps, pose with other military officers following the opening ceremony for the 33rd joint U.S. -Philippines amphibious landing exercises dubbed PHIBLEX at the marines corps in suburban Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines Tuesday Oct. 4, 2016.

In a profanity-laced speech in Manila, Duterte lashed out once again at the USA for criticizing his self-proclaimed "drug war", saying Obama can "go to hell".

"Ever since President Duterte took office, China and Philippines have been engaging in friendly interactions, which have yielded a series of positive results", said Zhao Jianhua, the Chinese ambassador to Manila, in a recent speech. "Eventually, I might in my time I will break up with America".

"You can not stop me.

There is no law in my land which says I can not threaten criminals", Duterte added.

"This is an alliance that is robust and that benefits both of our countries", Earnest said. "The use of that kind of tactic is entirely inconsistent with universal human rights and the shared values of our two countries".

"No one is really losing sleep over it", a USA defense official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Ma’ Rosa
Ma’ Rosa

Abella said Duterte's opponents first brought up the Hitler reference before the May presidential election to "gain political mileage".

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder condemned Duterte's remarks while in Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

He's also called for an end to joint patrols in the South China Sea and for the ouster of U.S. Special Operations forces from southern Mindanao.

So the joint exercises continue as normal - with more than a thousand US personnel working with hundreds of Filipinos, and commanders on both sides celebrating the military ties between the two countries, Sullivan says.

Duterte has announced publicly that he will not allow the Philippine navy to conduct joint patrols with the US military in the disputed South China Sea because it could spark an armed conflict in Philippine territory. Such a move by the Philippines would impede Washington's plans to expand the footprint of USA forces in Southeast Asia to counter China.

About Obama, he said, "Instead of helping us, the first to hit was the State Department".

"Our alliance remains a key source of stability in the Asia-Pacific region", Jansen said, expressing confidence "that we will continue to build our partnership and capabilities together".

Last month, the White House canceled a planned meeting between Obama and Duterte after the Philippine president called Obama the "son of a whore". Many of Duterte's stunning pronouncements have typically been walked back by other Philippines officials.

For his part, US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel dangled the concept of "people power" as he cautioned against more anti-US posturing.

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