President Trump invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to come to the White House, In reply, he said that he will not be coming to the United States because he thinks that the country is “lousy.”
Duterte’s response was to Rep. Jim McGovern, who commented earlier that if the Filipino leader accepted Trump’s invitation, he would protest.
“There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter. So what makes that guy think I’ll go to America? I’ve seen America, and it’s lousy,” Duterte said during a press conference in reply to McGovern.
Duterte’s drug war, which is carried out by vigilantes and the police has resulted in mass killings of dealers and addicts in the Philippines. MacGovern initiated a hearing in the congress that highlighted these deaths.
Human rights groups have heavily criticized the Filipino leader’s method of eliminating the country’s growing drug problem – they say that the killings mainly target the poor and that there is no process.
McGovern, in his opening statement said that we should know the what executing and extrajudicial killing is: it is the targeted killing of a person without judicial authority. He said further that there are no arrests, no judge, no warrant and no jury, and that what Duterte is doing – is simply murder.
He added further that Duterte should not be invited in the country because of his human rights record
“We ought to be on the side of advocating for human rights, not explaining them away.” Said the congressman
On Friday, Duterte told reporters that he will also investigate the history of human violation rights by the United States.
“You’re investigating me and the internal affairs of my country? I’m investigating you, and I will investigate you, and I will expose it to the world what you did to the Filipino, especially to the Moro Filipino,” Said Duterte, he was referring to the Battle of Bud Dajo in the island of Jolo.
The Philippine Congress approved an appeal made by Duterte to extend martial law in Marawi in the island of Mindanao. The press report stated that the militants who have besieged the city have a link with the Islamic State.
The Philippines and the United States share an old relationship going back to the Spanish-American War. During the Obama administration, the relationship went bad after Obama critiqued Duterte on the mass killings. Duterte did not take the criticism well and told the former President to “go to hell”, he even called him a “son of a whore”, because of which Obama cancelled the meeting and called Duterte a “colorful guy”.
Trump however did praise Duterte’s efforts on the drug war, implying that the previously soured relationship needs to be rechecked. Trump had praised him during a phone call in April.
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that,” Trump said
The recent outburst by Duterte suggests that he won’t be coming to the United States, anytime soon.