Duterte to New York Times: ‘You better stop your publishing’

by Nestor Corrales

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - President Rodrigo Duterte did not mince words in his response to the latest New York Times editorial piece which said that he is a man that “must be stopped.” 

President Rodrigo Duterte hit back at the New York Times in an expletive-laced response to its editorial that suggested that he must be stopped because of his brutal war on drugs.

“Well, it’s about time that their publication also must stop,” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview in Malacañang on Thursday.

In a scathing editorial on the spate of killings in the Philippines, the New York Times (NYT) editorial board on Wednesday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to “stop” Duterte and launch an initial investigation into summary executions amid his administration’s so-called war on drugs.

“New York Times – asshole, asshole,” Duterte said. “You cannot even criticise 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.”

Secretary Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, had earlier said Malacañang clearly disagreed with the editorial.

“We recognise the New York Times’ right to opinion,” Abella said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “However, we have a clear disagreement with the newspaper’s April 25 editorial, ‘Let the World Condemn Duterte,’ which was based on a complaint filed by a lawyer of a self-confessed assassin.”

“The President was democratically elected to attack corruption and crime that have made so many Filipinos hostages to the criminals who had prospered through the rampant drug trade and other criminal activities that plagued our nation for decades,” he added.