Ellen Tordesillas

Duterte hints his best performance in int’l stage is yet to come

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President Duterte at first played coy when asked about his assessment of his debut in the international stage in the 2016 summit of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the 18-country East Asia Summit in Laos last week, upon his arrival from Jakarta where he proceeded after the Asean meetings saying it would be “self-serving.” But with little prodding he opened up, “I’m sure that if you’re a Filipino, you’d be proud of me.”

He said the only ones who would not be proud of what he did in Laos and Indonesia (where he proceeded for a state visit from Vientiane) are the “low-life sa press, iyong mga kolumnista, nothing is really too good to be true.”

“Pero hindi kayo napahiya (I did not embarrass you), I assure you, and everybody was clapping except for dalawa (two). But ah, bilib sila sa akin (they admired me),” he enthused. He declined to name who were the two.

Duterte was narrating the plenary session of the East Asia Summit last Thursday, Sep. 8. Participants in the East Asia Summit which follows the ASEAN summit are the 10 members of Asean namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam joined by dialogue partners Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and United States.

Duterte said that he threw away his prepared speech and presented, complete with pictures, the atrocities committed by American soldiers to Filipinos during the Philippine-American war (1899–1902).

“We were warned that we were limited to a prepared speech. But (when) it was handed to me I just threw it away, and I said, ‘I’d like to say something more than myself. Since, we have been talking about human rights, then I pulled out the - look at the pit, look at the bodies crowded there, they could number 200, and one soldier was holding his rifle with his feet on the breast of a Moro. Tell me now, can anybody here in this room… I asked them, can anybody in this room tell me what human rights is all about?”

Duterte said Indonesian President Widodo approved of what he did. He said they made a thumbs up sign to each other. (WE) were shaking with joy that I decided to just talk with sense and the truth.”

Reports said at the end of the EAS session, U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with each and every leader except Duterte.

A gushing Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. described the President’s performance in 2016 Asean and EAS as “brilliant.” This is despite the fact that Duterte and his officials spent a lot of time and efforts doing damage control for the curses he uttered against Obama in his pre-departure for Laos statement.

Even when he was in Jakarta, Duterte was still explaining to the Filipino community that he did not curse Obama. He said his statement,” Putang-ina, mumurahin kita diyan sa forum na iyan. Huwag mo akong ganunin,” did not mean he called Obama “son of a whore” as translated by international media.

His explanation is stunning, it would render you speechless. He said putang ina is like saying “son- of- a bitch” or son- of- a- gun”, not son-of a whore.

He said that was the same when he also said “Putang ina mo, Pope.”

“It was not really a statement against the Pope. At itong Amerikano mahusay talaga, Americans really can spin a story. They use the predicate or the adjective that is really worst to hear…

“Iyong putang ina sa atin, they connected with the word “son of a whore.” A ‘whore’ is a very terrible thing to hear. I was talking all along in the dialect. The best combinations thereof the words, translating it to English, and they do it every day, “son of a bitch,” “son of a gun,” ‘di ba?

“Eh putang ina sa atin, sa - if the Filipinos will try to utter it we would have said, “he is a son of a bitch” and you heard of ‘son of a gun’ or ‘fuck you’. Pero it is not translated in any ordinary day and ordinary lang you say, ‘son of a whore’. Pero ginamit nila iyan, kaya siguro si... took offense. Tingnan mo mag gamit anginternational press, I said ‘you better watch out.’ Pangkaraniwan sa akin - everybody man here, whether American, African or - who knows English would surely say, ‘son of a bitch,’ ‘son of a gun,’ it is not ‘son of a whore’. There’s never a translation for that, ‘di ba? “

Duterte hinted he has more to give than what he did in the Laos meeting. If it were a birthday, he said, the Asean 2016 was just a 16th birthday, not the 18th, when one makes a formal debut.

“This is just regional. You wait for international,” Duterte said.


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