Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has told all the European Union diplomats to leave his country over the increasing criticism of the government's bloody war against drugs. Speaking from a newly inaugurated press briefing room in Manila on Thursday (12 October), he told the diplomats not to step on the country's soil again.
"You think that we are a bunch of morons here... The ambassadors of those countries learn a lesson now. Because we can have the diplomatic channels cut tomorrow, you leave my country in 24 hours, all of you," he said during the rambling rant against colonialism in the capital, Manila.
It is still unclear what exactly Duterte, infamous for his foul-mouthed rhetoric against his detractors, meant by expelling those envoys. The firebrand leader is known to make brash remarks against Western leaders in the past only for the presidential palace later to clarify the remarks.
During his tirade, he also attacked European critics who have threatened that the Philippines could expelled from the UN Human Rights Council if the Duterte administration pressed on with the drug war and thousands of extrajudicial killings.
"Do it, stupid. Do it now," he said angrily.
The department of foreign affairs (DFA) of the Philippines refused to comment on Duterte's threat and asked journalists to contact the presidential office directly for clarification.
More than 12,500 alleged drug-peddlers and users have been killed in the Philippines' notorious drug war since Duterte took over as president. Serious human rights concerns and allegations have also surfaced over the bloody killings.