Media — local and international — have gone wild with reports about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s cursing allegedly directed at United States President Barack Obama. Did he really call Obama a son of a bitch?
Journalist Lala Rimando posted a transcript of what Duterte said during the forum when the cursing was said to have taken place. It is a transcript, not cherry-picked quotes that media just love to sensationalize, and it is a mix of English and Filipino. International media which rely on translators and which have no inkling about common expressions got it wrong big time.
Personally, I gave Duterte a silent standing ovation when he said, “You know, 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, they look upon Obama and the United States as if we are the lap dogs of this country… You write kung ano nasa isip — the lap dogs of this American. Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, he has too many –America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa tayo nakatikim ng apology niyan. That is the reason why Mindanao continues to boil.”
It was the second standing ovation I gave him — the first time was when he called out the United Nations for its hypocrisy.
A first, in both cases. Every Philippine president before Duterte has licked the proverbial American ass to beg for aid, investment and military support. If MAR Roxas had won the presidency, would he have the balls to say what Duterte said in defiance of American intervention? Would Grace Poe, if she had won, sound believable if she asserted Philippine sovereignty in the face of criticism coming from America considering that, as an adult, she chose American citizenship over Filipino citizenship?
Duterte’s refusal to behave like a brown slave begging for crumbs from his white master should please people who fancy themselves progressives / liberals / leftists but they are silent on this particular issue. At least one faction is too busy rubbing elbows with Vice President Leni Robredo. Praising Duterte, even in instances where it is deserved, just won’t look good when the lone agendum is to boot him out and install Robredo, Cory Aquino-style if legal measures like impeachment aren’t practicable.