Meet Rodrigo Duterte, the 71-year-old mayor of Davao City in the Philippines who’s posed to become the island nation’s next president on Monday. A former prosecutor, Duterte has earned himself a reputation as an inappropriate and crude politician and public speaker who doesn’t shy away from saying whatever crosses his mind, be it “boasts about his Viagra-fueled sexual prowess” or “jokes about rape,” according to NBC News. Hence his press-appointed nickname, the “Trump of the East,” which caught the attention of John Oliver and the writing team at Last Week Tonight. With Donald Trump’s big win in Indiana all but securing him the Republican party nomination, Oliver couldn’t resist the comparison.
“Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee for president,” the late show host said to a chorus of boos. “[So] if you are feeling depressed about the current state of this election, let me give you some perspective from the Philippines. Their presidential election takes place tomorrow, and the current front-runner is Rodrigo Duterte, and he is a colorful character to say the least.”
What follows is a cavalcade of clips from countless television and written news sources that account for, but cannot totally explain, Duterte’s most recent Trump-like comments. They include, but are not limited to:
- “I don’t have money to give, but I could give your wives something else, and this is for the wives only. Men, I’m sorry, but you don’t get anything because I’m not a queer.”
- As The Economist reported last week, Duterte once called the Pope a “son of a bitch.”
- “I say let’s kill five criminals every week…”
- “Yes, of course. I must admit I have killed. Three months early on I killed about three people.”
- “I was angry she was raped. Yes, that was one thing. But she was so beautiful. I think the mayor [himself] should have been first. What a waste.”
That final bit comes from comments Duterte made at a campaign rally about the gang rape and murder of Australian lay Minister Jacqueline Hamill in a Davao City prison in 1989. The presidential candidate’s words drew so much international ire that he was asked to apologize. When reporters asked him about the matter, however, Duterte didn’t stray from his remarks and even made sure to note that they weren’t jokes.
“It was not a joke. I said it in a narrative, I was not smiling, I was just talking plain sense.”
In addition to calling Duterte a “f*cking asshole” for his “should have been first” line, Oliver used the presumptive president elect’s example to segue back to the United States and its fascination with Trump. “Let this be a lesson to all of us. When we say, ‘I just want a politician who’ll tell me what he really thinks,’ we should specify that that politician should not be a total f*cking monster.”
“And yet, incredibly,” Oliver lamented, “this man is leading in the polls by 11 points.” Sure enough, according to BBC News, Duterte currently maintains a strong lead ahead of the other four candidates.