Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shot himself in the foot again with his big mouth when he flipflops on his supposed tall tale that he once threw a person off a helicopter.
On December 27, during a televised interview by CNN Philippines, Duterte claimed that he has thrown somebody off a helicopter and will not hesitate to do the same to those who will be found misusing government funds.
He was quoted as saying that whoever will use public funds for corruption, he will get the person to ride with him on a helicopter and push the fellow up while they are up in the air. He said that he has done that in the past and will do it again if the need calls for it.
As the most controversial president the Philippines has ever had, Duterte’s statement is often taken by the media hook, line, and sinker. It also does not help his cause that there are parties, both in politics and business, that are opposed to his style of leadership.
He may be an earnest government servant but Duterte often puts color in his statements and likes to exaggerate stuff that sometimes even if he is merely telling a tall tale, most media and most especially the international press, take it for what and how it was said.
In fact, his press secretary, communications secretary, and other Cabinet members in the Philippines have been branded as apologists for always trying to defend the statements of Duterte in the media or in public.
The problem is, Duterte does not want to be corrected most of the time that the apologies on his behalf turn out to be a mere cover-up.
Contradicting his own story
Some two days later after he made the pushing a person off a helicopter statement, Duterte said that it was not true.
While he did not say that he was joking the way he has been using as a ruse over his past flip-flopping statements, he just said that he had no helicopter back then and that it was just an idea from the creative imagination of Tulfo.
Tulfo is a brood of male journalists, namely Mon, Ben, Erwin, and Raffy, who are all supportive of Duterte as President and they espouse iron hand in dealing with crimes in the country.
Duterte did not single out who among the Tulfo brothers he was referring to in his now apparent tall tale of a helicopter story.
Playing the media
Subsequently, Duterte said that he was just playing the local and international media because they keep on reporting that he will be investigated by the United Nations for admitting that he once killed a criminal while he was still Mayor of Davao City.
In a subsequent interview by CNN Philippines two days after his helicopter story, he said that he was just playing the media because he is really like that and likes to say jokes.
He mentioned, in particular, one time when he was quoted as telling the media that God told him not to curse anymore and he said later that it was only a joke. He explained that the helicopter story was the same.
Duterte said that he likes to see the media spend time writing about it, criticizing about it, because that is their story and they believe it.
The Philippine President is particularly spiteful of some people in the United Nations who have been very vocal about his war on illegal drugs that have killed over 6,000 people in six months from the time he assumed the presidency on June 30 last year.
He believes that political opposition who are not in favor of his rule is swaying the international media and international human rights groups and advocates on the perception that Duterte is behind state-sponsored killings of drug users and drug pushers.
The latest to have made a statement against the claimed extra-judicial killings in the Philippines is UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein, who urged Philippine courts to launch a murder investigation of a president who has openly admitted to being a killer, notes The Washington Post.
Duterte has blasted a lot of people before for poking into his war on illegal drugs in the Philippines and even cursed outgoing US President Barack Obama, the European Union, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, a lot of UN rapporteurs, and a number of international human rights advocates.