Potty-mouthed president promises to stop swearing after ‘warning from God’

The foul-mouthed Philippine president, who once called the pope a “son of a bitch” and told Barack Obama to “go to hell,” says he has promised to God he won’t spew expletives again. Rodrigo Duterte, whose profanities have become his trademark especially with his threats to kill drug dealers, made the pledge on arrival in his home town of Davao city. While flying home from Japan, he said he was looking at the sky while everyone was sound asleep, some snoring, and he heard a voice that said “'if you don’t stop epithets, I will bring this plane down now.” The president added: “And I said, 'Who is this?’ So, of course, 'it’s God.’”

So, I promise God to … not express slang, cuss words and everything. So you guys hear me right always because (a) promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people

Rodrigo Duterte

It’s not certain if Mr Duterte can keep his promise. The 71-year-old made a similar pledge in June but has since caused offence with outbursts aimed at Pope Francis, Mr Obama, U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and political opponents. Although his latest vow was met with applause from supporters, he told them: “Don’t clap too much or else this may get derailed.” He also showed he still had a spiteful tongue. When asked for his message for a Filipino beauty queen who won the recent Miss International pageant, Duterte said he was proud. “Many Filipinas are beautiful, but all of you there in the human rights commission are ugly.”