The Philippines is holding its presidential election on May 9, but before that, host John Oliver slammed the front-runner of the race, Rodrigo Duterte, on his HBO show calling him the “Trump of the East.”
Duterte, the mayor of the southern city of Davao, led pre-election polls on election day.
“He is a colorful character to say the least,” said Oliver of Duterte, as the mayor was shown in an Al Jazeera clip getting on his motorcycle.
The footage then goes on to show Duterte at a mass wedding in which he offered himself as a wedding gift.
“I don’t have money to give, but I could give your wives something else—and this is for the wives only. Men, I’m sorry but you don’t get anything because I’m not a queer,” Duterte told the crowd.
The “Last Week Tonight” host then highlighted other Duterte controversies.
‘Trump of the East’
“Duterte routinely kisses his female supporters, once called the pope a ‘son of a [expletive],’ all of which has earned him a reputation of the ‘Trump of the East,'” said Oliver.
Duterte Admits to Murder
“Duterte has also suggested, if elected, he would kill five criminals every week, which may not be an idle promise as since he’s been there, extrajudicial death squads have reportedly killed over a thousand people. And while he denies any involvement in that, he does admit he has blood on his hands,” continued Oliver.
A clip of an interview is then shown, in which Duterte admits to murder.
“Yes, of course. I must admit I have killed,” the mayor told the interviewer, “Three months early on I killed about … three people,” said the mayor unsure of the number.
Oliver mocked the candidate for his revelation, “I’m sorry…about three people? That’s not good!” he said.
“Not knowing how many people you’ve killed is like not knowing how many Vicodin you took. If you don’t know the exact number, the answer is way too [expletive] many,” said Oliver.
Excruciating Rape Comments
But the scandalous comments by Duterte throughout his campaign didn’t end there. The presidential candidate also made excruciating remarks regarding a 1989 gang-rape case involving an Australian missionary, Jacqueline Hamill, who was assaulted and murdered in his city.
“I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing…but she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste,” said Duterte.
Oliver emphasized that the mayor’s comments was not part of a “horrific joke,” but that he actually meant it.
“It was not a joke. I said it in a narrative. I was not smiling, I was just talking plain sense,” said Duterte during an interview.
“OK, let this be a lesson to all of us: When we say I just want a politician who will tell me what he really thinks, we should specify that that politician should not be a total [expletive] monster,” said Oliver.
In April, the Australian ambassador to the Philippines condemned Duterte’s remarks on the rape case:
Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialised. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere.
— Amanda Gorely (@AusAmbPH) April 18, 2016
But Duterte’s comments seem to have helped him in the election, Oliver pointed out in his segment.
“And yet, incredibly, this man is leading in the polls by 11 points, so he’s probably going to get elected president tomorrow—which isn’t just terrifying for the Philippines, because it means that in just a year’s time, we could be treated to this”—Oliver turns to a photo-shopped image of Duterte shaking hands with Donald Trump in the Oval Office—”as an official state visit,” concluded the HBO host.
Duterte had a strong lead in an unofficial count of votes for the Philippine presidential elections on May 9, while the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos led the vice presidential race, according to The Associated Press.