Updated 14:55 PM PHT Fri, October 7, 2016
(CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte dared the U.S. and European Union (EU) to pull out aid from the Philippines, just three days after telling the former to "go to hell" and the latter to "choose purgatory."
In a speech before police officers in Butuan City on Thursday, Duterte said that the campaign against illegal drugs "has taken all kinds of flak from the international scene down to the local."
Duterte said it was not until he became President that he saw the "widespread" danger of illegal drugs. "It's not an ordinary fight. In itself, by itself ang gobyerno nag-aaway na sa loob [the government is fighting within]," he said. He then stressed that local officials, barangay captains, and police are involved in the illegal drug trade.
The President does not expect the U.S. or EU to "understand" him. "Do not understand me and if you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it. We have a problem here trying to preserve our society and you mess up by human rights."
Duterte said the Philippines "will survive as a nation," even if it becomes more difficult without aid. "I'll be the first one to go hungry and I'll be the first one to go, die of hunger. Huwag kayong mag-alala. [Don't worry.] But we will never, never compromise our dignity as a Filipino."
Similar to previous speeches, the President said "it is never wrong" to threaten to kill criminals who do drugs or other crimes like kidnapping.
"There is no crime at all when I say that do not destroy the youth of this land because I will kill you. That statement, either coming from the mouth of a mayor or of a President, does not give him any at all criminal liability."
The administration has repeatedly said that it maintains an "independent foreign policy." Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto Yasay told CNN Philippines that this should be understood in the community of nations "that they cannot unduly interfere in the domestic affairs of our country."