The President of the Philippines is fast earning a reputation as the Filipino Donald Trump, branding Barack Obama a “son of a b*tch”.
The country’s newly-elected and frequently outspoken President Rodrigo Duterte made homophobic comments about US Ambassador Philip Goldberg using crude slurs last month.
Speaking about the US, he said that although Secretary of State John Kerry is “okay… I had an argument with their gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off”.
The pair clashed when Duterte was a Presidential candidate, and Goldberg took issue with a number of his offensive “jokes”.
But despite anger from the US over the comments, Duterte is apparently undeterred, threatening to cuss out President Obama in a press conference.
Asked how he would respond to Obama if the US leader brought up extrajudicial killings, he said: “You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum.
“We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me.”
Many have likened Duterte to Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
The homophobia incident is being taken so seriously in Washington that the Filipino Charge D’affaires, Patrick Chuasoto, was summoned to the State Department for an apparent rebuke.
A spokesperson confirmed: “We had that conversation… I think what we were seeking is perhaps a better understanding of why that statement was made.
A spokesperson for the country’s embassy confirmed they had been “invited to the State Department to discuss the entire breadth of Philippines-US relations”, adding that “Philippine-US relations remain strong”.
The Philippines is one of the most LGBT friendly in Asia, with a 2014 poll finding that 73 percent of Filipinos believe homosexuality should be accepted.
However, there is little in the way of progress in the country.
There are no national LGBT anti-discrimination laws, no recognition of same-sex marriage, and the Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as “a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman”.