Despite widespread poverty in the Philippines and accusations against his administration of human rights violations, President Rodrigo Duterte is opening the country's doors to welcome refugees. The president attacked Western nations for their decision to close borders and restrict entry for asylum seekers and stated that his country would accept them "until we are filled to the brim".
In a behind-the-scenes look at his presidency, Duterte told Al Jazeera that his decision was based on the West's choice not to help those in need. "I say send them to us. We will accept them. We will accept them all. They are human beings," he said. "They can always come here. I will welcome them until we are filled to the brim."
Duterte did not explain how he plans to accommodate the refugees in a country with a population of over 100 million. He did however turn his sharp rhetoric towards the US which he accused of "bullying" and having double standards where human rights were concerned.
He attacked Western nations and said they "seem to be very accommodating on human rights but suddenly change course and say no".
"You stay there. We will build a wall [and put up] barbed wire. And now the hypocrite is there, staring at us eyeball to eyeball," he said in the interview which was rife with expletives.
Numerous countries including the US have come out to condemn the Philippines president for his violent crackdown of drugs and the killing of more than 3,600 people by police and unidentified individuals since he took office in June.
"I am pissed off by so many calls and people telling me I 'should not put so many people to death'," he told the news channel, adding that he found nothing wrong with encouraging vigilantism in the country. "If I look like a bad boy to them, I don't really give a s***. Who are they to me? They are nothing."