The world leader who once said he’d ride a jet ski out to the Spratly Islands to put a stop to Chinese land-reclamation efforts, added to his legendary list of outrageous claims Thursday when he bragged about stabbing a person to death when he was 16 years old - and raised even more eyebrows when he reportedly later called former President Barack Obama "so black and arrogant."
Of course, this isn’t the first time President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has bragged about murdering people - he has previously revealed that he actively helped hunt down and slaughter suspected drug dealers and users while Mayor of Davao. Hence, his comments about Obama received far more attention. According to Fox News, Duterte has held a grudge against former President Barack Obama since the former criticized his policy of condoning the extrajudicial vigilante killings of suspected drug dealers and addicts.
In a defiant speech hitting back at critics of his deadly drug crackdown, Duterte said he would go into jails and have “rumbles here, rumbles there."
“At the age of 16, I already killed someone. A real person, a rumble, a stabbing,” Duterte said during a summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, according to the BBC. “I was just 16 years old. It was just over a look. How much more now that I am president."
A spokesman for Duterte said the remarks had been made “in jest."
Duterte also hit Obama, slamming his former U.S. counterpart for criticizing the Philippines drug war.
“These white people, those from [the European Union], the ignorant Americans, pretending to be, this Obama,” Duterte said, according to The Philippine Star. “You are so black and arrogant. [He] reprimanded me. Why you reprimand me? I’m the president of a country."
Duterte, 72, is known for his often incendiary and obscene language during speeches promoting the country's crackdown on rampant drug use and trafficking, which began with his election in May 2016. Since Duterte took office 16 months ago, police said more than 3,960 people have been killed in the war on drugs. Another 2,290 people have been murdered in drug-related crimes, according to government data.
As Fox points out, Thursday was not even the first time Duterte has mentioned stabbing and killing someone while a teenager. In 2015, he told the Philippines edition of Esquire magazine that during a “tumultuous fight in the beach” when he was 17, he “maybe stabbed somebody to death."
Duterte almost triggered what would’ve likely been a devastating war with China earlier this year when he threatened to begin drilling for oil in a disputed area of the South China Sea. However, US press described his first meeting with US President Donald Trump Saturday.
The meeting was “short but was warm and cordial,” Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, told reporters.
“The leaders were generally pleased to finally meet each other in person,” he said.
Trump told Duterte “see you tomorrow,” Roque said.
The two leaders will likely meet again tomorrow at another Asia Pacific summit in Manila.