MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threw a barrage of insults at Sen. Richard Gordon after the lawmaker criticized the President's appointments of former military and police officials in his administration.
"...Dick Gordon, do not be too presumptuous about your talent. Why do you criticize me? It’s my prerogative. It is not prohibited by law and the law says that the President shall be --- may tulong siya sa mga taong Cabinet member. It doesn’t say except those who are ex-military men because they are not qualified," Duterte said in a speech at the 28th Founding Anniversary of the Bureau of Fire Protection in Pasay City.
"...‘Yung utak mo Dick, nagtutunaw napupunta diyan sa tiyan mo
(Dick, your brain is melting and it's going to your stomach). You are a fart away from disaster," he said.
The President went on, commenting on Gordon's physique.
"...[S]abi ko, take care of your stomach. It’s ugly. Isang utot ka lang tingnan mo. You are just a fart, a heartbeat away from... ‘yang laki mo niyan. ‘Yan ang katawan na mahirap --- hindi puwede ambulansya. Karga ninyo doon sa truck ninyo," Duterte said of the Philippine Red Cross chair.
(You are just a fart away. You are just a fart away, a heartbeat away from... with that size. That's the kind of body that's hard to carry, it cannot be loaded in an ambulance. You should load that in your truck.)
He said Gordon walked like a penguin: "Para kang penguin maglakad."
Duterte's tirades followed Gordon's comments on his frequent appointment of uniformed officials, saying this was "dangerous."
“Ang problema lang kay Presidente, mababaw ang bench niya. He comes from the province, hindi niya nakilala. So, mas nagre-rely siya sa military,” Gordon said in a statement.
(The problem with the President, he has a shallow bench. He comes from the province, he does not know a lot. So he relies on the military.)
Duterte responded to Gordon's "province" remark, saying he's proud of being a "probinsyano."
'At least, probinsyano ako, my brain stays in my head...kayong mga taga-Maynila, puro corruption, puro corruption. Kaya ang military, ang military normal na tao ‘yan," the long-time Davao City mayor said.
(At least I am from the province, my brain stays in my head... you who are from Manila, all about corruption. That's why the military, those from the military are normal people.)
The President also mocked Gordon for failing at his attempt for higher office.
"Eh tumakbo ka ng vice president, hindi ka naman manalo. Hanggang senador ka lang. Kung gusto mo talagang mag-bise president, if you want the title vice president, this is my advice to you. Hindi ka talaga mag-bise presidente kailanman," Duterte said.
(You ran for Vice President, you lost. You can only go as far as becoming a senator. If you really want to be vice president, if you want the title vice president, this is my advice to you. You will never ever be a vice president.)
Gordon ran for President in 2010 but lost to Benigno Aquino III, Duterte's predecessor. In the Senate, he belongs to the majority bloc.
If Gordon really wants such title, Duterte said he should just "create a private corporation, make your family the incorporators."
Duterte has appointed several military and police officials to key positions in government.
These include Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan, formerly of the Philippine Army and most recently senator; Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, former Philippine Army chief; Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, former Philippine Army chief; Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, former AFP chief of staff; Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, also a former military chief; and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director-General Isidro Lapeña, a retired Philippine National Police operations chief.
- with reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News