Rodrigo Duterte

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Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them.
—Rodrigo Duterte[1]

Rodrigo Roa Duterte (1945–) was the President of the Philippines from 2016 to 2022. He has been compared to fellow authoritarian populist lunatics Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro for inappropriate remarks and being an outright dickhead. Unlike Trump, who only thought he could get away with killing someone in public, Duterte has actually repeatedly bragged of killing people he claimed were rapists and kidnappers. This is an example of how a politician plays the Dexter MorganWikipedia card. This is how Duterte's Human Rights records while he was the mayor of Davao came under the microscope.[2][3]

During Duterte's tenure as mayor of Davao (1988-1998, 2001-2010, 2013-2016), he was allegedly complicit with the Davao Death Squad which operated from around 1993 onwards.[4] In 2009, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and Human Rights Watch accused Duterte of being supportive of the death squad.[5][6]

He is known for his War on Drugs; as soon as he became President. He has often killed anyone who does drugs because apparently doing drugs is way worse than murdering people. Ironically, there has been speculation that Duterte himself is a drug kingpin, and has been using the whole "War on Drugs" stunt as a front to cover up his (alleged) involvement in the Mindanao underworld.[7] He has also been quite sexist and likes bragging about raping women[8] and otherwise attacking women's genitals.[9] Duterte also uses homophobic slurs, but it's okay because he used to be gay[10], but Duterte's homophobia is not a more conservative position than that of mainstream Filipino politicians, who are heavily Catholic. Indeed, Duterte has made rather conservative and harsh remarks on LGBTQ+ issues, but by Philippine standards, which are very conservative in actual policy, he is implementing a somewhat liberal LGBT policy.[11][12]

Crimes against humanity aside, Duterte has made many inflammatory statements in public: attacks against Pope Francis (the "son of a whore", which is also how he referred to Obama),[13] the Catholic Church ("full of shit"),[14] and a rape "joke",[15] none of which have seemed to sway public opinion of him.[16] The last straw may have been Duterte's insulting God:[16]

What he did was, Eve eats the apple, then she wakes up Adam.… So Adam eats the apple. Then, malice was born. Who is this stupid God? That [expletive] is really stupid if that's the case.…

Proving that he is unable to take even simple criticism, in 2020 Duterte was accused of being complicit in, if not outright responsible for, the broadcast shutdown of ABS-CBN, a major television network in the country, citing allegedly biased and unfavorable news coverage against Duterte beginning with his campaign in the 2016 Philippine presidential election among other things.[17] Prior to the network's shutdown, he also sought to have independent news site Rappler suppressed over its exposes against Duterte's regime.[18]

While he is often called the "Filipino Trump," which makes him sound like a reactionary, he self-identifies as a leftist. In fact, PDP–Laban, his personal party, is also a democratic socialist and left-wing populist party.[19][20][21][22][23] In other words, he is a very strange politician whose extreme right-wing tendencies and leftist populist aspects coexist.

And like Trump, one columnist opined that Duterte exhibited a reality distortion field especially during his campaign, where his charisma and appeal to the masses–who were understandably anxious for change in the country–prevailed over both his human rights abuses and obscene remarks towards people and organizations, including but not limited to the Roman Catholic Church and even God himself.[24]

In 2022, the International Criminal Court launched an investigation on Duterte over human rights violations during the drug war. [25] In response, Duterte petulantly withdrew the Philippines from the ICC, but prosecutors said he cannot stop the probe no matter what.[26] As he is term-limited, Duterte might very well be indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity as an ex-president. Duterte himself hinted that he may be arrested by the ICC any time for his atrocities.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. Emily Rauhala, "Duterte: Hitler killed millions of Jews, I will kill millions of drug addicts," The Washington Post, Sep. 9, 2016, as displayed Jun. 10, 2019.
  2. Duterte confirms killing 3 rapist-kidnappers by Kathlyn dela Cruz (Posted at 09 Dec 2015 08:27 PM | Updated as of 10 Dec 2015 01:31 AM)
  3. Philippines: Duterte confirms he personally killed three men (16 December 2016) BBC.
  4. See the Wikipedia article on Davao Death Squad.
  5. Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development A/HRC/11/2/Add.8 (29 April 2009) UN General Assembly of the Human Rights Council
  6. "You Can Die Any Time": Death Squad Killings in Mindanao (2009) Human Rights Watch.
  7. Conversations with Arturo Lascañas, Part 1: ‘Duterte is the lord of all drug lords in southern Philippines’
  8. Duterte jokes that his soldiers can rape women under martial law in the Philippines by Avi Selk (May 27, 2017) The Washington Post.
  9. Duterte: Shoot female rebels in their genitals. Rights groups slam Philippine president for the latest in a series of derogatory and demeaning comments about women. by Ted Regencia (12 Feb 2018) Al Jazeera.
  10. David Gee, "Mass-Murdering Philippines President Says He'Cured' Himself of Being Gay," Friendly Atheist, June 1, 2019. Accessed July 14, 2019.
  11. Duterte meets transgender Gretchen Diez (August 20, 2019)
  12. Duterte, Philippines Holds Invitation Event for LGBT at Presidential Palace (2019-12-19, In Korean) Yonhap News
  13. Rodrigo Duterte Wants to Apologize to Pope Francis for Calling Him a 'Son of a Whore' by Nash (Jenkins May 13, 2016) Time.
  14. Duterte: Catholic Church 'full of shit' by Leila B. Salaverria (07:48 PM January 24, 2017) Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  15. Leading Philippine presidential contender: Gang rape victim ‘so beautiful’ he wishes he had 'been first' by Travis M. Andrews (April 18, 2016) The Washington Post.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Rodrigo Duterte: Philippine president attacks Catholic Church, calls God 'stupid' by Kristine Phillips (July 19, 2018) The Washington Post.
  17. Philippines' top broadcaster ordered off air
  18. Duterte's Media War in the Philippines
  19. [
  24. Duterte has his own 'reality distortion field
  25. "International Criminal Court Will Investigate Duterte Over Drug War," Felipe Villamor, New York Times
  26. "ICC prosecutor: Probe of Duterte can’t be stopped," Global Nation Inquirer
  27. Rodrigo Duterte gets info he may be arrested at any time