The newly-elected president of the Philippines has publicly called the US ambassador to his country ‘gay’ and a ‘son of a bitch.’
Rodrigo Roa Duterte was making a speech to the nation’s troops on Friday when he said of US ambassador Philip Goldberg: ‘I had an argument with their ambassador, that ‘bakla’ [gay]. Son of bitch, he really annoys me,’ according to the Philippines’s Rappler media outlet.
Goldberg has never publicly identified himself as gay so the remark is considered to be meant as an insult.
Duterte went on to accuse Goldberg of ‘interfering in elections, giving statements here and there … He was not supposed to do that.’
The feud stems to April when Goldberg commented on a sickening joke Duterte made about the gang rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill during a jail riot in the city of Davao while Duterte was mayor there.
Duterte said of the victim: ‘She was so beautiful. The mayor should have been first.’
Goldberg was among those who were outraged telling CNN: ‘Any statements by anyone, anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder, are not ones that we condone.’
US Press Office director Elizabeth Trudeau called Duterte’s remarks ‘inappropriate’ and told reporters on Monday (9 August): ‘We’ve seen those inappropriate comments made about Ambassador Goldberg. He’s a multi-time ambassador, one of our most senior U.S. diplomats. We have asked the Philippines charge to come into the State Department to clarify those remarks.’
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