A foreign news correspondent who was publicly cursed at by Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 has released what could be considered the president’s first biography.
Jonathan Miller, Channel 4 News’ correspondent for Asia, wrote “Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines.”
In an interview with the Australian National University on Soundcloud, Miller referred to the Philippine president as “the embodiment of populism.”
According to BBC News, a populist leader has the tendency to loathe “complicated democratic systems” of a modern government.
“Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines” offers a closer look at the chief executive’s background and the real deal behind his strongman tendencies.
It discusses how Duterte has “subverted and attacked the core democratic institutions” of the country and what made him how he is as a leader, Miller said.
Behind the initiative
Miller decided to document the life of the volatile Philippine leader after he became “personally engaged” with Duterte’s story following the press briefing that happened in November 2016.
The president had just arrived from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit when he held the briefing at the Davao International Airport.
Miller, who was representing Britain’s Channel 4 News, challenged Duterte to comment on the extrajudicial killings that have exceeded the death counts during the Martial Law period under dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The president did not give a direct answer and instead discussed the United States’ alleged human rights violation and its “hypocrisy.”
He said Washington has no right to question his anti-narcotics campaign when it is not a member of the International Criminal Court.
He eventually hurled an invective at Miller, saying “P—ina mo” (Roughly translated: You’re a son of a bitch) with apparent disdain.
On his Twitter account, the news correspondent tagged then-US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis, who have both been blatantly cursed by Duterte as well.
— Jonathan Miller (@millerC4) November 24, 2016
In an interview with New Mandala, Miller revealed that he got “fascinated” with Duterte’s persona — the individual and the strongman — succeeding the incident.
He wanted to show how Duterte has managed to utter “entirely contrived” words with his “I am poor” image, among others:
“I was struck by the words of Walden Bello, political analyst, former congressman who described Duterte as being like, ‘L’état, c’est moi’ and he called him a fascist original. And I thought that was really striking.”
“I think Duterte is a really authoritarian, anti-democratic force who wants power, has proved that he can manipulate democratic politics in the way that he did when he was mayor of Davao for 22 years and retained the governance of that city within his family and that remains the case today.”