Philippine leader tells Obama 'go to hell', says can buy arms from Russia, China

MANILA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday told U.S. President Barack Obama to "go to hell" and said the United States had refused to sell some weapons to his country but he did not care because Russia and China were willing suppliers.

In his latest salvo, Duterte said he had lost respect for the United States and railed at its concerns about his bloody war on drugs, calling his critics "fools" who could not stop him carrying out a campaign that has killed more than 3,400 people in just over three months.

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (C) clenches fist with members of the Philippine Army during his visit at the army headquarters in Taguig city, metro Manila, Philippines October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers a speech to the members of the Philippine Army during a visit at the army headquarters in Taguig city, metro Manila, Philippines October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers a speech to the members of the Philippine Army during a visit at the army headquarters in Taguig city, metro Manila, Philippines October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte shows a brochure of the new Glock pistols to be issued to members of the Philippine Army during a visit at the army headquarters in Taguig city, metro Manila, Philippines October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a news conference in Davao city, southern Philippines August 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr/File Photo
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (C) clenches fist with members of the Philippine Army during his visit at the army headquarters in Taguig city, metro Manila, Philippines October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech before female police officers during a gathering in Davao city, Philippines, September 30, 2016. Picture taken September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte (L) speaks during his meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte leaves the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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In a tangential, at times profane speech in Manila, Duterte said the United States did not want to sell missiles and other weapons, but Russia and China had told him they could provide them easily.

"Although it may sound shit to you, it is my sacred duty to keep the integrity of this republic and the people healthy," Duterte said in his second of two televised speeches on Tuesday.

"If you don't want to sell arms, I'll go to Russia. I sent the generals to Russia and Russia said 'do not worry we have everything you need, we'll give it to you'.

"And as for China, they said 'just come over and sign and everything will be delivered'."

His comments were the latest in a near-daily avalanche of hostility towards the United States, during which Duterte has started to contrast the former colonial power with its geopolitical rivals Russia and China.

On Sunday, he said he had got support from Russia and China when he complained to them about the United States. He also said he would review a U.S.-Philippines Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement.

Protests outside U.S. Embassy in Manila

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A protester shouts anti-U.S. slogans while holding a placard denouncing the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in metro Manila, Philippines July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
An anti-riot policeman blocks protesters denouncing the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold, with finality, the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in metro Manila, Philippines July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Protesters burn a replica of an American flag while denouncing the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold, with finality, the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in metro Manila, Philippines July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Anti-riot policemen use their shields to push back protesters denouncing the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold, with finality, the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in metro Manila, Philippines July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Activists hold placards as they denounce the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) during a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
MANILA, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/09/11: Student group League of Filipino Students trooped to the U.S. embassy in Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Sunday afternoon. The group burned a mock U.S. flag as they air their call against the alleged continuing intervention of the U.S. in the country. (Photo by J Gerard Seguia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MANILA, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/09/11: Student group League of Filipino Students trooped to the U.S. embassy in Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Sunday afternoon. The group burned a mock U.S. flag as they air their call against the alleged continuing intervention of the U.S. in the country. (Photo by J Gerard Seguia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The deal, signed in 2014, grants U.S. troops some access to Philippine bases, and allows them to set up storage facilities for maritime security and humanitarian and disaster response operations.

He said the United States should have supported the Philippines in tackling its chronic drugs problems but instead criticized him for the high death toll, as did the European Union.

"Instead of helping us, the first to hit was the State Department. So you can go to hell, Mr Obama, you can go to hell," he said.

"EU, better choose purgatory. Hell is full already. Why should I be afraid of you?"

According to some U.S. officials, Washington has been doing its best to ignore Duterte's rhetoric and not provide him with a pretext for more outbursts.

While an open break with Manila would create problems in a region where China's influence has grown, there were no serious discussions about taking punitive steps such as cutting aid to the Philippines, two U.S. officials said on Monday.

Several of Duterte's allies on Monday suggested he act more like a statesman because his comments had created a stir. On Tuesday, he said his outbursts were because he was provoked by criticism of his crackdown on drugs.

"When you are already at the receiving end of an uncontrollable rush, the only way out is to insult," he said.

"That is my retaliation." (Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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