‘NYT IS AN A_ _HOLE’: Duterte hits New York Times’ alleged hypocrisy, wants it to stop operations

April 27, 2017 - 9:36 PM
Despite the impeachment provisions stated in the Constitution, the separation of powers of the three government branches are blurred when Duterte makes pronouncements. File Photo/Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte lashed back at The New York Times (NYT) and said that the operations of the 166-year-old award-winning American newspaper must also cease just like what it wanted with the Philippine leader’s alleged crimes.

“Well, it’s about time that their publication also must stop,” Duterte told reporters on Thursday, April 27, on the sidelines of a joint press conference with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, among the first leaders who arrived in Manila for the 50th Asean summit.

The chief executive issued the statement after NYT came out with an April 25 editorial titled, Let the World Condemn Duterte and said that, “This is a man who must be stopped,” referring to the President’s war on drugs campaign that resulted in the alleged extrajudicial killings of thousands of Filipinos.

In the same editorial, NYT urged the International Criminal Court to “promptly open a preliminary investigation into the killings,” following lawyer Jude Sabio’s filing of a 77-page complaint against Duterte before the international tribunal based in The Hague.

NYT said “there is already more than enough evidence for a preliminary investigation, which would send an unmistakable signal to Mr. Duterte that he may eventually have to answer for his crimes.”

But the President on Thursday called NYT an “asshole” and assailed it for its alleged hypocrisy.

Duterte said that while the American daily owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family had criticized the leadership of a public official from another country, it allegedly did not dare do the same in its own backyard.

Amerikano [Americans], you’re playing like the morals of you. You didn’t even realize that you invaded a country in thy name of drugs,” said Duterte.

Duterte cited the U.S. invasion of Panama and Iraq, which allegedly were not criticized by NYT.

“You remember Noriega of Panama? Remember the time that they invaded a sovereign country like Panama, kidnapped the President and brought him to America to stand trial and he’s serving prison time there.”

Duterte was referring to former Panama President Manuel Antonio Noriega, who at first enjoyed the support of the U.S. government.

Noriega, who was recruited as a CIA informant while studying at a military academy in Peru, made himself valuable to the U.S. government by helping the Reagan administration push its anti-communist strategy in dealing with Latin America and in isolating the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.

But in the late 1980s, the US withdrew its support to Noriega, who was indicted by two federal grand juries in Florida on charges of drug trafficking and racketeering and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Also, Duterte said the US had invaded Iraq during the presidency of Saddam Hussein because of the country’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. But he said no WMDs were found during the 2003 Iraq War that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi citizens.

Sa [In] Iraq, you invaded Iraq. Why? Because of weapons of mass destruction. How many died?…What was found there? Nothing. There [were] no weapons of mass destruction and yet you invaded Iraq. Who [will] answer for the lives…lost there?” said Duterte.

“New York Times…asshole, asshole. You cannot even criticize your own mistake. Invading a country, making up excuses before the world that is not true, then you have the gall to say stop? You better stop your publishing,” he added.