MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may have finally met his match in Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte. The two have often been likened to each other, but they are thousands of miles apart, literally and figuratively.
Today, Duterte publicly challenged Trump to a fistfight — gloves off — after the American businessman-turned-politician called for the banning of Filipinos from entering the United States.
Campaigning in Maine on Thursday, Trump called for restrictions on immigrants from the Philippines and other countries with high rates of terrorism.
In his speech, Trump listed several immigrants, mostly from Muslim majority countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen — who were arrested for conducting or threatening to carry out violent attacks, teaching bomb-making to recruits, and otherwise supporting terror groups. He called them ‘animals.’
Trump had proposed the immigration ban previously but this was the first time that he specifically mentioned the Philippines.
Upon learning of Trump’s statement, Duterte went on national state television, inviting Trump to Manila so that the two could engage in a boxing match, ‘man to man.’
“I will not take any insult on my Filipino people sitting down,” Duterte said. “Let’s settle this once and for all, extra-judicially.”
Addressing Trump directly, Duterte said, “If you are too scared to come to Manila, I can come meet you in Las Vegas, at the Trump Towers or at the MGM Grand Arena.”
The Trump camp has yet to respond to Duterte’s challenge.