Published November 10, 2017
Outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte added to his legendary list of outrageous claims Thursday when he bragged about stabbing a person to death when he was 16 years old -- and Duterte raised even more eyebrows when he reportedly later called former President Barack Obama "so black and arrogant."
In a defiant speech hitting back at critics of his deadly drug crackdown, Duterte said he would go into jails and have “rumbles here, rumbles there.”
“At the age of 16, I already killed someone. A real person, a rumble, a stabbing,” Duterte said during a summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, according to the BBC. “I was just 16 years old. It was just over a look. How much more now that I am president.”
A spokesman for Duterte said the remarks had been made “in jest.”
Duterte also hit Obama, slamming his former U.S. counterpart for criticizing the Philippines drug war.
“These white people, those from [the European Union], the ignorant Americans, pretending to be, this Obama,” Duterte said, according to The Philippine Star. “You are so black and arrogant. [He] reprimanded me. Why you reprimand me? I’m the president of a country.”
Duterte, 72, is known for his often incendiary and obscene language during speeches promoting the country's crackdown on rampant drug use and trafficking.
Since Duterte took office 16 months ago, police said more than 3,960 people have been killed in the war on drugs. Another 2,290 people have been murdered in drug-related crimes, the government said.
Last year, Duterte said he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts and that he even fatally shot criminals while he was mayor of the southern city of Davao to set an example for police.
Thursday was not even the first time he has mentioned stabbing and killing someone while a teenager. In 2015, he told the Philippines edition of Esquire magazine that during a “tumultuous fight in the beach” when he was 17, “maybe I stabbed somebody to death.”
It’s unclear if he was referring to the same incident in Thursday’s speech.