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Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte calls US ambassador a 'gay son of a whore'

Extraordinary televised broadside accuses Washington's man in Manila of meddling in this year's election and follows similar outbursts against political opponents and even the Pope

Thursday 11 August 2016 15:08 BST
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Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines president in June after running a bombastic campaign that drew comparisons with Donald Trump
Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines president in June after running a bombastic campaign that drew comparisons with Donald Trump (AFP/Getty)

Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino President, has launched a blistering, homophobic attack on the American ambassador describing him as a gay “son of a whore".

The controversial president has angered many at home and overseas with his characteristically foul language.

He won a landslide victory in May after running a hardline campaign, criticising the Pope and promising to reintroduce capital punishment.

Now he has turned his fire on Philip Goldberg, the US ambassador to Manila, whom he accused of meddling in the elections.

“As you know, I’m fighting with [U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s] ambassador,” he said in a televised address. “His gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off.”

He previously clashed with Mr Goldberg during the campaign when he said he wanted to rape an Australian missionary who was sexually assaulted and murdered during a 1989 prison riot in the city of Davao, the city where was mayor.

The American ambassador condemned the comments at the time.

Philippines: Duterte's tough crime crackdown continues

On Friday, Mr Duterte told him to stay quiet.

“He meddled during the elections, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that,” said Mr Duterte.

A spokeswoman for the State Department condemned the comments.

“We've seen those inappropriate comments made about Ambassador Goldberg. He's a multi-time ambassador, one of our most senior US diplomats,” she said. “We have asked the Philippine chargé to come into the State Department to clarify those remarks.”

It is not the first time he has deployed such foul language.

Last year, while announcing his presidential run, Mr Duterte condemned the Pope for causing traffiic jams in Manila during a visit to the capital.

“It took us five hours to get from the hotel to the airport. I asked who was coming. They said it was the Pope. I wanted to call him: ‘Pope, son of a whore, go home. Don’t visit anymore’,” he said, a potentially disastrous move in an overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Although Mr Duterte has promised far-reaching constitutional reform, he is is still known as “the punisher” for his tough approach when he was mayor of Davao.

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