During a campaign rally in Daet Camarines Norte on Friday, April 29, PDP-Laban presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte narrated the story of how he ordered the burning of a Singaporean flag after they did not postpone Flor Contemplacion’s hanging.
The Davao City mayor, then campaigning with running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, recalled the story with curses and a dirty finger. He talked about how the Singaporean government denied our government’s request to postpone the OFW’s capital punishment for murder in 1995. As a sign of protest for the death of the Filipina OFW, he asked someone to look for a Singaporean flag and light it up himself in front of the city hall.
“Sagot ng *** spokesman ng Singapore, “No, even if you’re president of the Philippines, I will not entertain any…” Hanap ka ng flag ng Singapore, sunugin natin. Sinindihan ko. I told them, “*** Singapore!”
Duterte also urged Davaoeños to ban any Singaporean products within the city.
The flag-burning incident in Davao City strained relations between the Philippines and Singapore, so much so that Singapore’s foreign ministry sought assurance from the Philippine government that no flag-burning incident should occur again.
However, Duterte and the Singaporean government buried the hatchet 10 years after the incident. The mayor even sent a letter of condolence to Singapore after the death of Lee Kuan Yew.
Some people on social media could not help but relate the incident to just how Singapore denied endorsing Duterte on April 22 after a photo of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was widely circulated on Facebook with a caption praising and seemingly endorsing the presidential bet. Singapore is also seeking legal advice against the person who posted that false Facebook meme.