Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte today warned the European Union to stop pressuring South-East Asian countries over the death penalty, threatening to "hang all of you."
Duterte noted that most member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) have capital punishment and their leaders were being pressured by the European Union on the issue.
“You fools, you sons of b****s, stop interfering with us,” Duterte said at an early morning press conference after returning to Manila from visits to Myanmar and Thailand.
“No one will tell you, so I will tell you, you are all fools."
“I will just be happy to hang you. If I have the preference, I’ll hang all of you,” he added.
“You are putting us down. You are exerting pressure in every country with the death penalty.”
It was not clear exactly whom he was addressing with the remarks, but he was quoted earlier this week railing against European parliamentarians, who passed a resolution last week urging the Philippines not to reintroduce the death penalty.
Among Asean’s 10 member-countries, only Cambodia and the Philippines have abolished the death penalty, but Manila has taken steps to reinstate capital punishment under Duterte's administration.
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have carried out executions of convicts in recent years, while Thailand, Brunei, Laos and Burma have had no executions in decades.
Vietnam's statistics on the death penalty are secret.
Duterte alleged that Europeans were against the death penalty out of guilt over the deaths of millions of people during World War I.
He said "genetics" were to blame for Europeans interfering with other countries on the death penalty.
“Your guilt, your conscience is almost genetics. It is passed on from generation to generation,” he said.