Speed Reads


Ahead of meeting with Trump, Philippines president brags about committing murder as a teen

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte unexpectedly bragged about stabbing a person to death when he was a teenager ahead of his meeting with President Trump in Vietnam, CNN reports. "One fight there, another here — at the age of 16, I killed someone. A person, really. During a fight. Stabbing," Duterte told regional leaders in Da Nang. "That was when I was 16 years old, just because we just looked at each other."

Duterte and Trump have been on friendly terms, despite former President Barack Obama's tumultuous relationship with the controversial Filipino leader. Duterte has been heavily criticized by many in the international community for encouraging the extrajudicial murder of drug dealers. More than 13,000 suspected users and dealers are thought to have been killed so far across the Philippines. "To endorse Duterte is to endorse a man who advocates mass murder and who has admitted to killing people himself," John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, told The Intercept in May after the White House praised Duterte for doing a "great job."

Duterte's spokesman walked back the president's comments Friday when speaking with a CNN affiliate. "I think it was in jest," the spokesman said. "The president uses colorful language when with [Filipinos] overseas."