MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is often misunderstood because foreign journalists "see things in their own Western way," the social media director of Duterte's presidential campaign said.
Speaking on "ANC Presents: Duterte Speak", Pompee La Viña said international apply their own "framework" in understanding Duterte's statements.
"The way I see it, really, is these people have their own framework, they look at things in their own Western way, their own Western values, and they try to fit everything in the world in that. So if its outside that, they don't understand it," he said.
"I don't think the President has gone around saying just shoot anybody at random who's into drugs. He saying if they resist, if they fight back, if your life is in danger. But you know, in these Western countries, maybe what they expect is the policeman to risk his life just to stop that drug dealer and the President feels otherwise," La Viña added.
Vergel Santos of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR), however, said even Filipino reporters have a hard time understanding Duterte, even when they have the same culture.
"But how come a foreign reporter and a Filipino reporter both misunderstand the president? I can't understand how two people coming from different cultures misunderstanding the president. It doesn't seem to me a matter of culture. It seems to me a matter of one's ability to be understood. These are reporters, reporters from all over the world, for instance, misunderstood in Indonesia, misunderstood in UN, a mix of cultures, misunderstood in America, misunderstood here as well. I cannot quite understand this, really. In fact, if I were to ask the president and I didn't understand, the next question I will ask is, 'Mr. President, is this what you mean?', if only to be able to put my finger into something," he said.
Duterte was recently embroiled in controversies over his statements regarding U.S. President Barack Obama and the United Nations.
Duterte on Tuesday also lashed out at the European Union.
READ: 'F*** you,' Duterte tells European Union