Duterte on possible confrontation with Obama: Who is he?


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday stressed that he will not answer to United States President Barack Obama or any other world leader who questions his anti-drug campaign.

Speaking to the media before he left for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Vientiane, Laos, Duterte insisted he is not a lapdog of the US and will refuse to bow down to Obama on the issue of extrajudicial killings.

Duterte and Obama are set to hold bilateral talks at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders' Summit in Vientiane, Laos this week.

READ: Obama expected to raise concerns over Duterte's remarks | Duterte to Obama: Clean up your own backyard

When asked about the possibility of other world leaders asking him about the spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings in the Philippines, Duterte said that he will not respond to anybody but the Filipino people.

"The Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States... I do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines. Wala akong pakialam sa kanya, who is he?" Duterte said before departure at the Davao International Airport.

"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," Duterte added.

The president cited that about 600,000 Moros died in the pacification campaign in the Philippines when the Americans left the country at the turn of the century.

"As a matter of fact, America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa tayo nakatikim ng apology," the president said.

Duterte also demanded an apology from the US for the sins of the past. " If you can answer that question, give the apology. I will answer him.  I am not beholden to anybody," he said.

Duterte blamed the US for the long-standing peace problem in the Mindanao region. He argued that the Philippines inherited the problem from the US when the latter invaded the country.

"Masyado kayong bilib sa America, bumilib kayo dito sa atin. Siya (Obama) ang mag-explain sa akin kung bakit kayo extrajudicial killing," Duterte said.

The president said that he might open up the death of the Moros during in his upcoming meeting with Obama.

"Can he explain the 600,000 Moro massacred in this island? Do you want to see the pictures? Maybe I'll ask him. I'll make it public," the president said.

A still unidentified columnist also got the ire of the President for imposing on him about US affairs.

"Kayong mga kulumnista, wait until he meets… who is he? I am the President of a sovereign state, and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people," Duterte said

In his departure speech, Duterte said he is ready to discuss with his counterparts the issues on how to deal with terrorism and extremist terrorism, how to attain a drug-free ASEAN, among others, at the three-day summit in Laos.

In Laos, Duterte will officially receive the chairmanship for next year. He will then head to Indonesia for an official working visit.

READ: Duterte off to Laos for Asean Summit

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