Sept. 5, 2016 (EIRNS)–In a press conference in Davao as he was leaving for the ASEAN Summit in Laos which begins Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte ripped into Obama’s colonial arrogance and the U.S. history of colonial suppression of his country. He is scheduled to meet privately with Obama on Tuesday afternoon, but Obama says he is now having his “team” review whether or not to cancel the meeting.
Asked at the press conference how he would respond to Obama’s intended challenge on the deaths in his war on drugs, Duterte answered: “I am a President of a sovereign state, and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina [son of a bitch], I will swear at you in that forum…. I do not want to pick a quarrel with Obama, but certainly I would not appear to be beholden to anybody.”
At the end of his response, Duterte said: “I do not kneel down before anybody else except the Philippine people, working in misery and extreme povery and hunger…. The war on drugs will continue. Plenty will be killed until the last drug pusher is off the streets, until the last drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue, and I don’t give a shit about anyone observing my behavior.”
He also challenged Obama to deal with the extrajudicial killings in the U.S., and the treatment of refugees. He pointed to the colonial legacy in the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao, Duterte’s home: “Who is he? As a matter of fact, at the turn of the century, before the Americans left the Philippines, in the pacification campaign of the Moro in this island [Mindanao], there were about 6 million population of the Moro. How many were killed? Six hundred. If you can answer that question, and give an apology, I will answer him. Who is he to confront me? America has one too many to answer of misdeeds in this country.”
Obama will not be answering to those misdeeds. Late today he announced that he was cancelling the meeting with Duterte. It seems that the President who prides himself as the drone killer, slaughtering thousands of men, women, and children around the world with drones, without the benefit of due process, doesn’t want to be called out as the real master of extrajudicial murder.