Your Grandma’s Not the Only One Cursing Out Obama
As President Obama rolls into his last few months in office, his dedicated band of critics take no vacations. In fact, the scrutiny surrounding Obama’s legacy has only gained momentum in the wake of increasing terror threats and civil unrest. While we may have grown accustomed to Grandma’s Obamacare rants at the Sunday night dinner table, nothing tops the Rodrigo Duterte shot at our Commander in Chief earlier this week.
Duterte, the recently elected and infamously edgy president of the Philippines, referred to Obama as a “son of a bitch,” in an angry outburst on Monday night. Duterte had reportedly been addressing rumors of Obama confronting him about his treatment of drug dealers, specifically the Philippines’ extrajudicial killings of these criminals. Evidently offended by the potential confrontation, Duterte proceeded into an Obama-centered rant, in which he said: “Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people.” He then later cursed, “Son of a bitch, I swear at you.”
Probably not Duterte’s brightest moment, considering his speech took place just days before Obama was expected to visit Laos, Vientiane to participated in bilateral talks with the Filipino leader. The two were set to discuss their partnership in counterbalancing China’s territory, as well as to expand on the U.S. plans to station troops at a crucial naval base in the South China Sea. However, Obama was clearly not having it after catching wind of Duterte’s verbal attack. He promptly backed out of what would have been the leaders’ first meeting, expressing his concern that the timing was not right. During a news conference at the end of a summit of the association of Southeast Asian Leaders in Laos earlier this week, Obama referred to Duterte as a “colorful guy,” and decided to hold off any interaction until he was certain the conversation would be “constructive and productive.”
While Duterte’s controversial comments may come as a shock to the U.S., this would not be the first time the Mr. President Philippines has displayed his colors. His unfiltered commentary has been the subject of criticism within the political realm for a long time coming. In addition to threatening mass killings of drug dealers, Duterte also expressed his desire to join in on the gang rape of an Australian missionary. The words “putang ina” or “son of a whore/bitch,” clearly roll of the tongue nicely for Duterte. Prior to hurling the insult at Obama, the Philippines leader targeted a number of other perceived opponents with his favorite curse, ranging from world leaders, to Popes, to Donald Trump, to U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg (whom he also name-marked as “gay”). Though Goldberg never received his due apology, Duterte did express his regret for insulting Obama. His office released a statement on Tuesday that claimed the “putang ina” insult was not aimed at Obama, but rather at a journalist whose question sparked the rant. Luckily for Duterte, the rant is not presumed to jeopardize the U.S.-Philippines partnership, considering the Philippines relies heavily on the U.S. for territorial protection against China. However, Obama has assured that when the leaders do meet, Duterte’s handling of human rights will be a pertinent aspect of the conversation.
Since Duterte was elected earlier this year, more than 1,900 people have died, 700 of which were related to the president’s war on drugs. Still, Duterte shows no signs of backing down. In his State of the Nation speech on July 25, he said, “Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or [been] put behind bars — or below the ground, if they so wish.” Only time will tell how the hard-headed Filipino President will cooperate with our own in the wake of his word-vomit incident.↑ Back to top