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22 Sep, 2016 15:13

Duterte calls out ‘devil’ Ban Ki-moon & EU in latest tirade

Duterte calls out ‘devil’ Ban Ki-moon & EU in latest tirade

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says the UN chief and the EU are welcome to investigate his controversial drugs crackdown, while also challenging the organizations to visit the Philippines and debate human rights and extrajudicial killings with him.

"I am inviting the United Nations' Ban Ki ... what's the name of that devil? ... Ban Ki-moon," Duterte said, as cited by Reuters. 

"I am inviting the EU, send the best lawyers of your own, also the rapporteurs, to come to the Philippines. I will write them a letter to invite them for an investigation." 

Since taking office 11 weeks ago, around 3,000 people have been killed during Duterte’s crackdown on drug users and suppliers. He called for the UN and EU to “investigate” him, before adding that he would like to pose them questions of his own.

“I asked the police to go after [drug dealers] and if they present violent resistance, kill them. With those words, many were killed but they were the ones who fought [with authorities],” the president said, while maintaining that his security forces were not behind the killings, according to the Philippine Star newspaper. 

“With regard to those who were killed with their hands tied, those were the handiwork of co-conspirators in the drug trade,” he added, noting that he had urged those involved in drug dealing to report their companions to the authorities. 

His statement follows a recent broadside he launched at the EU after the bloc blamed him for stoking up anti-drug violence, with Duterte reinforcing his message through the use of his middle finger.

“I have read the condemnation of the European Union. I’m telling them, ‘F**k you. You’re doing it in atonement for your sins,” Duterte said, speaking in his home town of Davao City before local authorities on Tuesday, as cited by the Inquirer Global Nation. 

“They are now strict because they have guilt feelings,” he added, according to the Philippine Star. Duterte pointed to the backing by EU member countries, in particular, the UK and France, for military campaigns in the Middle East, which have resulted in far more deaths than his drug crackdown. 

Duterte is no stranger to launching outbursts littered with profanities against high-profile world leaders, with US President Barack Obama also being on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse.

The Philippines president called his US counterpart a “son of a b*tch/whore” earlier this month after hearing news that the US leader was to address the country’s ‘war on drugs.’ The comment, which Duterte later said was not directed towards Obama, led to the White House canceling scheduled talks between the two leaders. 

This outburst was shortly followed by Duterte ordering US troops to leave the south of his country, after blaming them for inflaming tensions with the local Muslim population. 

“For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land,” Duterte said, as cited by the AP. 

In his speech on Thursday, Duterte gave a hint of a possible warming of ties with China by telling businessmen from the country, “You will see me often in China." 

He did not expand on that particular point, but did mention that he planned to visit China before the end of the year and would be promoting the rights of fishermen from the Philippines to be left to fish in the Scarborough Shoal without any restrictions. 

Duterte has already said that the Philippines will pursue “independent” foreign and military policies separate from US interests in the region and may look towards closer ties with China and Russia.