‘Sons of b*tches’: Duterte says he will jail anyone who tries to impeach him

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to imprison anyone who tries to impeach him over his stance on a fishing rights controversy involving China, and challenged his opponents to go ahead and try.

“Me? Will be impeached? I will jail them all,” Duterte told reporters on Thursday amid an escalating national argument over territorial fishing rights. He went on to say that he was “challenging” his opponents to attempt it: “You really want to force my hand into it? Okay. You sons of b*tches, do it. Yes. File it.”

Duterte is facing heavy criticism for allowing China to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and for agreeing with Beijing that the recent sinking of a fishing boat by a Chinese vessel was an accident. 

Critics, including a judge and a former foreign minister, have accused Duterte of breaching the constitution by failing to protect Filipino territory and say it could even lead to his impeachment. 

For his part, Duterte says that invoking the constitution could trigger a war with China. However, some analysts claim he’s uncritical of China because it has promised investments and infrastructure loans to the island nation. 

The Philippines leader was earlier this week accused by the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights of making threats, aggressive rhetoric and trumped-up criminal charges against opponents in a “deliberate effort to muzzle critics.”

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