Singapore flag burning is a joke, Duterte
Almost everything seems to be a joke with Mayor Duterte around.
After a rape joke, disabled persons joke, now Mayor Duterte has declared that his flag burning remark on Singapore was just "jokingly" made.
Spokesperson Peter Lavina defended Duterte anew, and called the Singapore government "trivial" and implying that no self-respecting country would meddle in another country's politics. This completely missed the point earlier raised by the Singapore government, who sought to seek charges against people deliberately spreading misinformation. He called the Singapore government onion-skinned, and said that the remark by Duterte by just a "tit-for-tat" to the SG government's voicing out of their concerns that the country's good name is being used for dirty electioneering. Now, not only is Duterte the one attacking another nation, even his spokesperson is. He said it's "a dose of their own medicine", even though the Singaporean government was only speaking out against dirty politics and deliberate misinformation.
"How can a self-respecting country react to such trivial matter and calling for investigation? Now, it has tasted its own dose of medicine when Duterte retorted jokingly that he will burn the Singaporean flag again. It’s a tit-for-tat. Only the onion-skinned would actually be affected." he said.
On April 22, the Singapore Embassy in Manila said on its Facebook page that a Facebook post “mischievously alleging” that Lee Hsien Loong endorsed a presidential candidate was untrue.
"The choice is for Filipinos alone to make. We wish the Philippines well in the conduct of its elections." it said.
As usual, Duterte supporters will be quick to say that there needs to be an understanding of the context behind this joke. Well, the "context" is apparently to rouse a crowd masked in entertainment.
On April 30, Duterte, the mayor of Davao City, spoke at a rally in Daet, Camarines Norte. On stage, he recalled how in 1995 he had protested against Singapore’s execution of Filipino maid Flor Contemplacion, who had killed a fellow Filipino maid and a four-year-old Singaporean boy. He was told that this was the response the Singaporean government gave to then-president Fidel V. Ramos: "No, even if you’re President of the Philippines, I will not entertain any…"
Duterte then proceeded to rouse the crowd by saying, "Find me a flag of Singapore. Let’s burn it. I told them, **** Singapore."
He led a crowd of Davao City employees in burning the Singapore flag in 1995.
"Duterte practices the golden rule – if you treat me well, I will treat you well as well. If you bash me, I return the favor. This is also the context about Singapore’s complaint that its Prime Minister was used in ‘endorsing’ Duterte.", apparently clueless with how international politics work. This is not the first time Duterte has uttered controversial statements, not having enough oversight to look into the consequences of tactless statements. Singapore is where currently over 100,000 Filipinos either work or reside in, an important strategic ally for the Philippines that Duterte does not mind losing.