22 Sep 2016

Philippines president gives middle finger to 'hypocritical' EU

11:45 am on 22 September 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has launched an expletive-laden attack on the European Union and raised his middle finger in a gesture of defiance after it condemned his brutal crackdown on crime.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Photo: AFP

Mr Duterte said the EU parliament was acting out of guilt after it called on him to halt "the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings".

He said "hypocritical" former colonial powers like France and Britain were trying to atone for their own sins.

Since Mr Duterte took office on 30 June about 3000 people have been killed.

They have been killed either by police or vigilantes, after the new president effectively sanctioned the murder of criminals and drugs dealers.

The killings have been widely condemned internationally.

The European Parliament said it was concerned about the "extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations... in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign", and asked Mr Duterte to launch an "immediate" investigation.

But the president hit back angrily, saying the European Parliament's colonial-era ancestors killed "thousands" of Arabs and other peoples.

"They're taking the high ground to assuage their feelings of guilt. But who did I kill?

"Assuming it to be true - 1700, who are they? Criminals. You call that genocide," he told officials in Davao.

"Now the EU has the gall to condemn me."

Mr Duterte has insulted a number of other politicians and world leaders. US President Barack Obama cancelled a meeting with Mr Duterte after he was said to have called him a "son of a whore", and he called UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a "fool" days later.

The 71-year-old also swore repeatedly during the outburst, and raised his middle finger in a gesture of defiance.

Mr Duterte said on Sunday he needed to extend his crime war for another six months because the drug problem was worse than he expected, adding on Tuesday that he would shield police and soldiers from prosecution.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key met Rodrigo Duterte after the East Asia Summit in Laos earlier this month, and told him there was an "arguably better" way to deal with drug issues.

- BBC