President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements like “go to hell,” “putang…” and others, which were described by the PDP-Laban Policy Studies Group chief as “colorful language,” should not be capitalized on as the main issue and cause of the country’s problems.
In a statement, Jose Antonio Goitia, head of the political party’s think tank, asserted on Thursday that the media should instead focus “on the bigger picture of his real message” in relaying Duterte’s statements to the public.
Goitia, also chairman of the PDP-Laban Membership Committee in the National Capitol Region (NCR or Metro Manila) , explained that “President Rodrigo Duterte’s colorful language [w]as a way of emphasizing his point, [therefore]his use of metaphors should no longer be a cause for controversy.”
Duterte’s statement of “Obama go to hell” when he was making his anti-American stand before a gathering of local government units’ leaders from the northern part of the country held in Makati City (Metro Manila) recently was viewed by some sectors as wrong.
But Goitia strongly defended Duterte, saying the President’s October 4 speech was “[actually]centered on the country’s peace and order situation where he has already explained many times before that the United States and the West are culpable for the inter-connected problems of migration, poverty and racial discrimination, which are fanning the flames of violence, criminality and extremism not only in the Philippines but in many other nations.”
“President Duterte assailed the hypocrisy and double standard of the US Department of State as it condemns the war on drugs in the Philippines but is relatively silent on the killings of 60,000 individuals right at their
doorstep as Mexico struggles with its own drug war,” he said.
Recalling Philippine history, Goitia pointed out that the whole premise of criticisms of Duterte’s “colorful language” was his series of tirades against the United States in a country like the Philippines, majority of whose citizens are pro-America.
According to him, “The reason for their fixation on President Duterte [is that he]is the first President, since the post-World War II era, to distance from the US and to uphold an independent foreign policy. [It appears that] [t]he Duterte administration’s independent foreign policy goes against the ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategy of the US that is crucial to its assertion of economic and political dominance not only in the East and Southeast Asian regions but in the entire world.”
Goitia, also the president of PDP Laban San Juan City Council, explained that there have been observations in recent years that the West, particularly the US, is now using the human rights agenda as a new front in its imperialist conquests.