- President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed regrets over recent tirades against Obama
- The Philippine leader said his ‘strong comments’ were not meant as a personal attack on the US leader
- He also clarified their meeting will push through at a later date
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed regret over tirades against United States President Barack Obama after supposedly calling the latter a [expletive] in a pre-departure speech before leaving for Laos for the ASEAN summit on Monday.
A statement released by Duterte on Tuesday said he did not intend for his “strong comments” to come as a personal attack on the US leader.
“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president,” said Duterte’s statement.
Duterte came under fire from international media for supposedly cursing at Obama after being informed the US president will raise the issue of war on drugs and extra-judicial killings in the ASEAN summit during their scheduled bilateral meeting which was later scrapped.
“I am a Pres. of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people. Nobody, but nobody. You must be respectful,” the president was quoted as saying.
“Do not just throw away questions and statements. [expletive]- mumurahin talaga kita diyan sa forum,” added Duterte, with the last sentence interpreted by media as a direct insult against Obama, loosely translated as: “Son of a b***h, I will curse you in the forum”.
However, upon landing in Laos, Duterte clarified he is not to “quarrel with the most powerful president of any country in the planet” in an attempt to douse some water on his fiery remarks that led to the cancellation of his meeting with Obama.
“Our primary intention to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations especially the US with which we have a long standing partnership,” the Philippine leader said.
Duterte further stressed that the meeting between him and Obama will still push through at a later date and that the cancellation was mutually agreed.
“We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priority perceptions and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries,” Duterte added.