DAVAO CITY September 5, 2016 — President Rodrigo R. Duterte had strong words today against the United States, saying he will not give an answer to the issue of human rights violations even to President Barack Obama.
Speaking in a press briefing at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport before his departure to Laos for the ASEAN Forum, Duterte said he will curse Obama at the forum if the latter insists on raising the issue of the death toll in the government’s war against drugs.
He also said he has no master but the Filipino people and that he will not respond to anyone but his constituents.
“The Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States… Alam mo marami diyan sa mga kolumnista (You know there are many columnists here who) look upon Obama and the United States as if they are lapdogs of that country,” he said.
Duterte said when the country was a colony of the US from 1898 to 1946, around 600,000 Moro people were killed in the Americans’ “pacification” of Mindanao.
“If he (Obama) can answer that question and give an apology, I will answer him,” he said, noting that the Philippines has not received any apology from the Americans for its atrocities during its occupation of the Philippines.
“That is the reason why Mindanao continues to boil. You said that was the last century, that wounds from generation to generation (should heal). As a matter of fact we inherited problems from the United States because they invaded this country and made us their subjugated people,” he said.
“Can he explain the 600,000 Moros massacred in this island? Do you want to see the pictures? Maybe, I will ask him and make it public. We have a recorded history of that sordid period of our national life,” he added.