Duterte denies ‘insulting’ Obama, blames ‘media spin’ for the hype

  • President Rodrigo Duterte has denied cursing at Obama in his pre-departure speech 
  • He blamed the media for supposedly spinning the story
  • He also revealed he spoke briefly with Obama and denied making the statement against the US leader

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated he never cursed US President Barack Obama in his pre-departure speech early this week and blamed the media for ‘spinning’ the story several times over.

Duterte made the clarification during his speech before the international community in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, September 9.

The Philippine president said he never made any reference to Obama in his speech on September 5 where he was quoted by local and international media as supposedly calling the US leader “son of a wh*re”. Duterte’s outburst landed on international headlines, and ended in the cancellation of a bilateral meeting between the two.

“You can review the tapes. I did not say [son of a wh*re to Obama],” Duterte told the audience.

“May sinabi ako, pero (I said something, but) not in relation to Obama. I said, ‘Do not disrespect me. Son of a whore, we will be wallowing in the muds like pigs if you do that.’ That’s what I said,” he explained.

Duterte blamed the media, especially the international press, for the poor translation of his speech especially the part where he used the word “PI”, making it appear that the cursing was a direct reference to Obama.

“For whatever reason, the things you say, they (the media) can spin stories several times over,” Duterte said. “If they are after you, they would — I said — make it appear to be the worst of you. So watch out the press. They can spin. They will spin everything to make you bad.”

Duterte also revealed he has spoken briefly with Obama at the Laos summit where he denied making the statement and urged the latter to check it out for himself.

“I told him this, ‘President Obama, I’m President Duterte. I’ve never made that statement. You can check it out. Check it out.’ He said, ‘Later, I will talk to you.’ I said, ‘Okay,’” Duterte narrated.

Duterte is currently in Jakarta following an invitation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The two leaders are expected to discuss their respective country’s ongoing war against illegal drugs.