By: Elena Grace Flores
The tough-talking Philippine President strikes again and this time, his vocal toughness is aimed at no other than US President Barack Obama. They are scheduled to meet on Sept 6 during the East Asian Summit and Obama has been very concerned about Duterte’s alleged human rights violations as he intensified the war on drugs in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte insisted that Obama must listen to him before he even starts to talk about human rights. This clearly shows that the Filipino leader is undermining Obama’s knowledge on what’s happening in the country and the vital humanitarian context. He said; “They must understand the problem first before we talk about human rights. I would insist, listen to me: this is what the problem is, then we can talk.”
Knowing Duterte’s character so far, perhaps Filipinos in America will not even seek clarification at the Philippine embassy on what the president is talking about because he is noted to have a split personality. Tough in front of the camera but he can be polite and soft spoken in person.
It is actually best that the two leaders would meet and talk things out in person because throwing mud at each other through the media would just escalate misundersatndings. The strong bilateral relationship between the two countries must not be compromised because of the long standing alliance. Duterte’s hard headedness and boastful acts should not add to the US wars being fought now by Obama – just like the trade war with China. After all, the US is dedicated to protect the Philippines from any threats from China.