Mr President, mind your language


Mr President, mind your language

We hope Duterte becomes president-like on the world stage.

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Published: Wed 7 Sep 2016, 8:44 PM

You don't expect Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to be diplomatic in his outbursts. He might have gone a step too far on Monday with his obscenity-laden comments against US President Barack Obama. But didn't we say this the last time he called someone a son of a w....? Well, of course, he didn't mean it then. He 'regrets' it now. Meeting cancelled with Obama the peacemaker. Sadly, allies of the United States in South East Asia do not trust the US under the Obama administration. This trust deficit is only widening under a lame duck president who no one takes seriously in his last months in office. He could do to us what he did to the Middle East when he pulled troops out of the region, says Duterte, who's become a darling of the Filipino masses for his offensive against drugs. Since he came to power following a landslide victory, 2,000 have died in this crackdown against dope. Many drug barons have fled the country. He's both loved and feared at home as the world (read the Western media) watches in horror at his excesses.
Human rights organisations and countries are crying foul about vigilante killings from the moral high ground they are perched on. Duterte insists he can't stem the rot in society without the bloodshed he has unleashed. Then, the US is no beacon of rights. Armed people roam the streets with weapons. They have a consitutional right to arms is the justification for gun violence. Wrong. Shootings are fine in the wild, wild West; it's not okay in former colonies like the Philippines. Wrong again. And the Philippine president will have none of it. He's right in pointing out the hypocrisy of the US, but two wrongs don't make a right. We hope Duterte becomes president-like on the world stage. He has the mandate and is still popular. He shouldn't blow it by being a loose cannon.

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