Barry Soper: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's stop-over tolerated by John Key government

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte stopped over on his way back from meeting with Apec leaders in Peru. Photo / AP
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte stopped over on his way back from meeting with Apec leaders in Peru. Photo / AP

Our own Donald Trump of the 1980s Rob Muldoon never minced words when it came to his dislike of his fellow leaders.

He reminded Commonwealth leaders at their annual knees up in Melbourne in 1981 that new inductee Robert Mugabe had been shooting people in the bush just a few weeks before.

When the Commonwealth Secretary General of the time Sonny Ramphal complained about his undiplomatic language, Muldoon curtly told him to stick to keeping the minutes.

There was a lot of tittering at the time about our abrasive leader but his outbursts were mild compared to those of Trump and certainly to those of the president we played host to in Auckland last night as he ordered a banquet into his hotel suite.

The new Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte stopped over on his way back from meeting with Apec leaders in Peru.

Yeah, it was a bit of a dog leg for the man they called Duterte Harry, because of his gun-toting approach to drug dealers, but he's not setting foot in the United States at the moment because in his view it's run by the son of a whore - well that's how he recently described Barak Obama.

He later told Obama to go to hell and announced his separation from America while on a state visit to China, so there's little wonder why he stopped over here rather than there.

If you thought Trump's locker room banter was bad, Duterte's has been even more obscene but it doesn't bear repeating, although he has in a moment of weakness expressed regret for what he acknowledges was gutter language.

When the language was criticised by the United States and Australia he threatened to severe diplomatic ties with them if elected.

Duterte's 'war on drugs' has left a body count of over 4000 people dead in the Philippines. Photo / AP
Duterte's 'war on drugs' has left a body count of over 4000 people dead in the Philippines. Photo / AP

When he decided to run for office he nominated his daughter to take over the mayoralty of the city he'd run for more than 20 years, which sounds awfully like the behaviour of another recently elected leader.

The Filipino leader's not apologising for the language he's used for years when it comes to law-breakers though, beginning when he was mayor, saying those indulging in illegal activity in his city, preying on innocent people, will be legitimate targets for assassination.

As president he's presided over the deaths of more than 4000 in his war on drugs, approving of the killings of suspects, regardless of who the executioners are.

Our Foreign Minister Murray McCully met with him at his hotel tonight but not surprisingly didn't return calls after it.

Discretion with this man, it would seem, is most certainly the better part of valour!

- Newstalk ZB

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