After finger salute, Philippines' Duterte asks EU 'Why insult me?

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After finger salute, Philippines Duterte asks EU Why insult me?

Manila - In a separate speech on Tuesday, Duterte also repeated a vow to shield police or soldiers from prosecution.

By Reuters/AFP

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Published: Thu 22 Sep 2016, 9:15 AM

Last updated: Thu 22 Sep 2016, 11:30 AM

Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte demanded today the European Union show him respect worthy of a president, despite giving the bloc a one-finger gesture and a vulgar four-letter rebuke after its legislators expressed concern about his drug war.
Angered by last week's call by the European parliament for restraint in his deadly 11-week crackdown, the former mayor of the southern city of Davao took aim for a second day at the European Union and said he did not deserve insults.
"Even the EU is scolding me," Duterte said in a televised speech at an army base.
"When I was mayor, that was OK but it is different now because I am the president. Why would you insult me?"
He added: "It is as if I am your subordinate."
After lambasting the United Nations, the United States and its president and Nobel laureate, Barack Obama, the EU is the latest high-profile recipient of a Duterte dressing-down that has become part of his appeal to millions of Filipinos.
Duterte swept to power in a May election promising an assault on the drugs trade and at least 3,800 people have been killed since he took office on June 30.
The European parliament appeared to strike a nerve when it issued a statement calling on his government to "put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings", while expressing concern about "extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations".
During a speech on Tuesday, Duterte hit out at the EU, saying "F*** you" and raising a fist with the middle finger thrust out in an obscene gesture.
The European Union delegation in Manila issued a diplomatically worded statement from its ambassador but later retracted it, for reasons not explained, replacing it with another, saying "We don't comment on comments".
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"The European Union and the Philippines enjoy good relations, and we will continue to discuss this issue, among many others, in our bilateral contacts," it said in the revised statement.
Duterte said on Sunday he may have to extend the campaign against drugs into next year, having understated the depth of the problem.
The 71-year-old leader had reacted along similar lines to earlier foreign criticism of his drug war, calling US President Barack Obama a "son of a whore" and cursing the United Nations.
Duterte won elections in a landslide in May after vowing to eradicate the illegal drug trade in six months, and promising that 100,000 criminals would be killed in the process.
Since he took office on June 30 about 3,000 people have been killed, about a third of them suspects shot dead by police and the rest murdered by unidentified attackers, according to police statistics.
The EU parliament last week said it was concerned about the "extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations ... in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign".
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Duterte must "put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings ... (and) launch an immediate investigation into (them)", the EU resolution said.
Singling out France and Britain, Duterte said the parliament's members were "hypocrites" whose colonial-era ancestors killed "thousands" of peoples.
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"They're taking the high ground to assuage their feelings of guilt. But who did I kill? Assuming it to be true, 1,700, who are they? Criminals. You call that genocide," he said.
"Now the EU has the gall to condemn me. So I repeat it. Fuck you," he said.
Mr President, mind your language
In a separate speech on Tuesday, Duterte also repeated a vow to shield police or soldiers from prosecution.
"If you massacre a hundred and you also number a hundred, why, all of you will get pardons. Restored to full political and civil rights plus a promotion to boot," he told soldiers during a visit to a military camp.

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