CAPIZ, Philippines – The notoriously frank President Rodrigo Duterte had something to say about United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg on Friday, August 5.
Narrating the recent meeting he had with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Duterte transitioned into telling his audience of soldiers in Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City about his dislike for Goldberg.
"Kausap namin si Kerry. Okay naman siya kasi nag-away kami ng ambassador niya, 'yung ambassador, 'yung bakla. Putangina buwisit ako diyan," said a visibly irritated Duterte.
(We were talking to Kerry. He's okay but I had an argument with their ambassador, that homosexual. Son of bitch, he really annoys me.)
The Philippine president has obviously not gotten over Goldberg's reaction to his controverial rape remark that was among the lowest points of his 2016 presidential campaign.
"Makikisali doon sa eleksyon eh (Interfering in elections), giving statements here and there. You’re not supposed to do that," said Duterte.
In a television interview amidst national uproar about Duterte's remark, Goldberg had said, “statements by anyone, anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder are not ones that we condone.”
A vexed Duterte slammed Goldberg for interfering in the national elections, even advising him to "shut up."
Duterte then continued with his narration of his meeting with Kerry. By the end of the courtesy call, Kerry had promised to give the Philippine government $32 million for law enforcement.
Duterte joked that it seems insulting Americans is one way to get money from them.
"Iniwanan pa kami ni si Delfin [Lorenzana] ng $ million. Okay ito ah. Bastusin natin ulit para mag-areglo itong buwang na ito. Pera pala ito, pera-pera lang," said a chuckling Duterte.
(He left me and Delfin Lorenzana with $32 million. This is great. Let's insult them again so these fools try to make amends again. They're just about money.)
While Duterte referred to Goldberg as a "bakla" as if to insult him, this is not the first time he used the term in a derogatory way.
During the 2016 campaign season, Duterte used the term "bayot" which also means "gay" in Bisaya to denote weakness in critics who don't believe he can suppress crime and drugs in 3 to 6 months. (READ: 'Bayot, bakla' don't mean 'weak,' transgender bet tells Duterte)
Duterte's statement comes more than a week after Kerry paid him a courtesy call in Malacañang, becoming his most VIP guest so far.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.