Duterte began his term as president on June 30th and since then has gone after drug users and dealers with a vengeance. And, like Donald Trump, he is super-sensitive to criticism, in his case over his methods of dealing with the drug problems the Philippines face.
Since beginning his reign, over 3,000 suspected drug dealers and users were killed, a fact that alarms the United Nations, who believe that only Israel should be destroyed. The U.S. and E.U. are also upset with Duterte as are other human rights watchdog groups.
The potty-mouth former city mayor is a left-leaning son-of-a-gun and does not play well with others, particularly Obama. He plans to bolster his relationship with Russia and China as he changes the country's foreign policy. In other words, he is breaking it off with us and "moving on."
He spoke at a local convention of business executives and other officials where he outlined his disappointments with the U.S. because we asked him not to keep killing folks. After all, even President Obama used drugs in college, and if he had been born in the Philippines, instead of where he claims he was born, he would have been killed under Duterte's presidency.
And that would have been catastrophic for the oceans and the planet, in Obama's opinion.
Duterte described Washington as an unreliable ally, saying Filipino forces have not benefitted from combat exercises with our troops.
"Instead of helping us, the first to criticize is this State Department, so you can go to hell, Mr. Obama, you can go to hell," Duterte cried.
The Phillipines president has gone public with a series of statements that he could cut back the activities and presence of U.S. military in the country. He was clear that he wants us out of the volatile south, claiming our presence has angered many minority Muslims, who can get angry at most anything that isn't Islamic.
Duterte is trying to forge a peace accord with Muslim insurgents, and short of converting to Islam himself, Duterte has as much chance of a long-term peace with them as he has at winning the Power Ball lottery while being struck by a meteor at noon in Trump Plaza.
Now he's saying that he will not allow the Philippine navy to conduct joint patrols with our military in the South China Sea because it could create an armed conflict with China in Philippine territory. He said the joint combat exercise to be held this week, will also be the last of his tenure.
But when all is said and done, Duterte will not abolish a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. and will remain our ally. He still wants us to protect his butt in case China or Russia make a move on him.
U.S. Embassy officials said that the Philippine government has not yet formally notified them about scrapping future joint military operations, which if implemented would hinder our plans to expand our presence in Southeast Asia to keep China at bay.
When asked whether Duterte's remarks would affect the troops involved in the drills, Capt. Ryan Lacuesta, a Philippine military spokesman, danced around the question. "As much as I would like to answer that question, I would leave that to higher authorities," Lacuesta said Tuesday, implying that only God knows, or Duterte, who believes he's God.