Duterte's spokesman calls actress Bette Midler 'gullible talking head'

MANILA (DPA) – A Philippine official on Sunday (Nov 24) lashed out at US actress Bette Midler for naming President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the world’s most notorious leaders, calling her “incompetent” and “a gullible talking head”.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Midler, who has been a critic of Mr Duterte and described him as a “murderous dictator” in a tweet in 2017, has no right to criticise the Philippine leader.

“She has the right to criticise in her country as an exercise of her freedom of expression,” Mr Panelo said.

“She however has no right, as she is incompetent – and a gullible talking head as well – on matters concerning foreign leaders she has no personal knowledge of.”

On Saturday, Midler included Mr Duterte on a list of notorious world leaders in a tweet that called on Americans to take interest in the impeachment inquiry under way into US President Donald Trump.

“For Americans who think the impeachment hearings have nothing to do with them, think again. Want to leave the door open to a Hitler? A Stalin? A Castro? A Duterte? A Pol Pot? A Putin? An Assad? A Chavez? A Kim Jong Un? A Mussolini? A Mugabe? An Amin? Trump’s the gateway to that,” she tweeted.

Mr Panelo said since Midler has no personal knowledge of Mr Duterte’s policies, she should be “circumspect” and “refrain from giving one-sided and judgmental comments on internal affairs of another sovereign state”.

He added that Midler’s opposition to Mr Duterte was probably based on “false narratives coming from the political opposition and some biased media outlets whose agenda is to besmirch Duterte and his administration before the global stage”.

Midler frequently targets Mr Trump on Twitter. The US President tweeted in June that she is a “washed up psycho”.


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