MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines complained Tuesday that Washington was refusing to sell weapons to his government and said that President Obama “can go to hell.”
Duterte, who has been angered by Washington’s criticism of his deadly campaign against drug users, threatened to turn to China and Russia for weapons purchases.
“Instead of helping us, the first to hit was the State Department,” Duterte said in a speech to local officials. “So you can go to hell, Mr. Obama, you can go to hell.”
Duterte, who took office on June 30, began a war on drugs that has claimed about 3,000 lives, the Philippine authorities say. Many of those killed were people suspected of dealing drugs who were gunned down by unknown assailants and left in the streets. Police say they have killed more than 1,200 drug sellers and users who resisted arrest.
The United States, the European Union, and the UN have expressed concern over the killings and have urged the Philippines to live up to its human rights obligations. Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have also urged the Philippines to stop its violent campaign.
Last week, in trying to rebut criticism that he was like Hitler, Duterte said he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of Filipino drug users just as Hitler killed millions of Jews during the Holocaust. He has since apologized several times to Jewish people around the world.