Rodrigo Duterte’s Most Contentious Quotations


President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has a reputation for frank – and frankly offensive – speech-making that electrifies his constituents as often as it angers other countries.

He has made the extrajudicial killing of drug dealers and users the cornerstone of his domestic policy.

Behind the bluster, analysts are alarmed that Mr. Duterte’s comments mark a shift in the foreign policy of the Philippines, historically the United States’ most dependable ally in Southeast Asia, toward China.

  1. 1.“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

    Mr. Duterte drew international ire after issuing his latest threat against drug dealers and drug addicts on Sept. 30.

    The president – who underestimated the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust; it was six million – said he was routinely depicted as being a “cousin of Hitler.”

  2. 2.“Son of a whore. I will curse you in the forum.”

    Mr. Duterte used the expletive, sometimes translated as “son of a bitch,” in a warning to President Obama about bringing up extrajudicial killings at an international forum held in Laos in September.

    Mr. Obama canceled the meeting and Mr. Duterte apologized. The two men met briefly a few days later.

  3. 3.“You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because I’d kill you.”

    While running for president, Mr. Duterte, who had been mayor of Davao City and employed vigilante militias there, promised a similar national strategy against drug dealers.

    He told voters: “Forget the laws on human rights. If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor.”

    In the same campaign speech, Mr. Duterte said he would dump the bodies of slain drug dealers “into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there.”

  4. 4.“Please don’t order me around. … Or would you rather that I declare martial law?”

    In August, Mr. Duterte warned Maria Lourdes Sereno, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, that if she tried to thwart his drug war he would declare martial law.

    The threat was made after the judge responded to Mr. Duterte’s accusations that several judges were drug addicts.

  5. 5.“I was angry because she was raped. That’s one thing. But she was so beautiful. The mayor should have been first.”

    He joked at a campaign event in April about the rape and murder of an Australian missionary by inmates during a prison riot in Davao when he was mayor in 1989.

  6. 6.“I wanted to call him: ‘Pope, son of a whore, go home. Do not visit us again.’”

    Mr. Duterte complained that Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, a majority Catholic country, led him to become snarled in a traffic jam in January 2015.

    After bishops condemned him for his language, Mr. Duterte apologized.

  7. 7.“I was separated from my wife. I’m not impotent. What am I supposed to do? Let this hang forever? When I take Viagra, it stands up.”

    Addressing business leaders at a campaign event in April, Mr. Duterte bragged about his reputation as a womanizer.

  8. 8.“Instead of helping us, the first to hit was the State Department. So you can go to hell, Mr. Obama, you can go to hell.”

    In a speech to local officials, Mr. Duterte complained that Washington was refusing to sell weapons to his government, and threatened to turn to China and Russia to purchase arms.