Rodrigo Duterte is set to officially take the seat of the highest position in the land on June 30, but the Philippine president-elect has already gotten himself in hot water before he could even do so.
Long before he won the national elections back in May 9 by way of a landslide victory, the mayor of Davao City has been embroiled in controversy after controversy, uttering thought-provoking statements that earn praise or scorn from the masses.
Duterte has had his fair share of battles since he announced his intention of gunning for the presidency, and has even seen himself being compared to an equally brash and opinionated political figure – U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
However, Duterte has done some things that might just make him worse than the self-professed billionaire.
- That time when he called Pope Francis a “son of a w—-!”
The president-elect has since apologized for the remarks, even going as far as writing a letter and vowing to visit the Vatican so he could apologize personally. Yet that didn’t stop him from getting a backlash from several religious groups after he cursed the pope for causing widespread traffic when he visited the Philippines last year.
- That time he joked about an Australian missionary getting raped.
Rape is regarded as a sensitive topic, and the general rule that most people would follow is that no one should ever joke about rape. Unfortunately for Duterte, he seemed to have missed that memo when he joked about an Australian missionary who was raped and killed while she was serving prison time in Davao, remarking that he should’ve been the one to have raped her first.
- That time he declared that he’s willing to back down on the dispute regarding the South China Sea.
His statement was seen as alarming by many, noting that his stance contradicts that of the administration under current President Benigno Aquino III, which believes that the country has rights to the disputed islands.
- That time he said that corrupt journalists deserve to die.
Duterte explained that a journalist will not be exempted from getting killed if he has done something wrong. Thus emerged another widespread backlash, not only from the country, but from other organizations around the world.
- That time he gave citizens the power to shoot and kill people if they think they’re criminals.
“Please feel free to call us, the police or do it yourself if you have the gun—you have my support,” Duterte declared, explaining that he wants citizens to take matters into their own hands to help fight crime and corruption.