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Meet the world’s most dangerous leader: Rodrigo Duterte

Since being elected his police have killed more than 550 people

Meet the world’s most dangerous leader: Rodrigo Duterte
30 September 2016

The Philippines has had its fair share of colourful leaders, from extravagant tyrant Ferdinand Marcos and his wife's thousand pairs of shoes to Emilio Aguinaldo, the country's first president, who once reportedly killed an eighteen-foot crocodile.

Rodrigo Duterte, however, looks set to top them both in controversy - and he's only been in power since June. Just yesterday, he seemingly compared himself to Hitler, saying he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts as he cracks down in crime. “If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...,” he said, pointing at himself. “Hitler massacred three million Jews... there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

And worryingly, police have killed more than 550 people since his election.

Clearly a charmer, then - but this isn't the first time he's run his mouth. Let's have a look at his best (worst?) bits, as if he was on some needlessly provocative version of Big Brother.

His law and order policies are... heavy handed

Duterte was elected promising to clamp down on his country's drug dealers. Well, we say "clampdown," if that's what you call vowing to kill tens of thousands of people.

“These sons of whores are destroying our children," he said. "I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you." He's been linked to death sqauds that have historically killed more than 1000 people, and the UN has gone as far as saying that his policies could be crimes under international law.

He also has a pretty retrograde approach to battling addiction: "If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

He's even gone so far as suggest his more ambitious citizens should open funeral parlours. “I assure you, you won’t go bankrupt," he said. "If your business slows I will tell the police, ‘Do it faster to help the people earn money."

Police investigate the dead body of an alleged drug pusher in Manila, September 22, 2016

He called Obama a "son of a whore"

Duterte is pivoting his country away from America and toward an increasingly powerful China. This may be wise, given the People's Republic's assertive approach to the South China Sea, but it probably wasn't wise to call Barack Obama a "son of a whore," which lead to the Americans cancelling a summit meeting at a conference in Laos. "Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet," he said of Obama. "I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people. Son of a bitch, I will swear at you." He also called a diplomat "gay".

He's rehabilitating his country's dodgy past leaders

Ferdinand Marcos was one of the most corrupt leaders of the twentieth century, living in luxury while his people went hungry and conducting thousands of human rights violations during his more than twenty years of rule.

What does Duterte want to do?

Re-bury him in Manila's 'Hero's Cemetery'.

He once made a tourist eat a cigarette butt

In his previous gig as mayor of Davao City, Filipinos got a taste of what they were in for from their future president.

When a tourist flouted a nation's controversial smoking ban, Duterte made him eat the butt - allegedly at gunpoint.

He once shot a man

Last but not least, Duterte was once bullied at law school. His response? A complaint to the authorities?

Not his style.

He shot the bully.

[Images: Getty, Rex]