The U.S. Senators who criticized Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, opposed any possible visit of Philippine’s President to the U.S., received a harsh response from the controversial leader of the South Asian country.
“There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter,” Duterte said on Friday, as quoted by Reuters.
“I’ve seen America and it’s lousy,” Duterte said, surprised that the Senators would think he was willing to visit their country.
Duterte was accused of violating human rights in his war on drugs, including widespread abuses and casualties. Duterte, who became Philippine’s President in 2016, vowed to cleanse his country of drugs and criminal, but was criticized for abuses by several Human Rights Organization and the European Union.
Responding to EU’s criticism of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, Duterte called the bloc ‘sons of beaches’.
After UN’s Human Rights experts asked the Philippines to address extrajudicial killings of drug users in the country, Duterte responded by threatening to burn down the UN and pulling his country out of the organization.
“You go and file a complaint in the United Nations, I will burn down the United Nations if you want,” Duterte said. “I will burn it down if I go to America.”
The co-chairman at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the US Congress, Jim McGovern, said he would oppose Duterte’s visit to the U.S., because of his multiple human rights violations.
Duterte, already known for his combative statements, in which he often threatened his opponents and critics with violence, lashed back and said he would investigate the U.S. for civilian casualties during their wars in the Middle East.
“It would be good for the US Congress to start with their own investigation of their own violations of the so many civilians killed in the prosecution of the wars in the Middle East,” Duterte stated.
“Otherwise I will be forced to investigate you also. I will start with your past sins.”
During his phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump in April, Duterte received an invitation to the White House, with Trump praising the Philippine leader for “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”
Duterte’s war on drugs had resulted in more than 7,000 death, according to Human Rights Watch. However, Duterte brushed off the accusations brought by human rights organizations and vowed to continue crackdown on illegal drugs.