Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he regrets calling Obama “son of a whore”; says remark was not meant to be personal
New York, September 6: Following US President Barack Obama’s move to cancel a meeting after Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte called him a “son of a whore”, the latter said he regrets his earlier comments, adding, it “came across as a personal attack”
Duterte, in a statement, said that both sides have agreed to move the meeting to a later date.
“We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions,” CNN quoted Duterte as saying.
The U.S. President cancelled the meeting with his Philippine counterpart after the latter appeared to call him a “son of a whore”.
Duterte also warned Obama to keep off the subject of extrajudicial killings in his country’s brutal drug war when they were due to meet on Tuesday at a regional summit in Laos, reports the Guardian.
Responding to question about how he intended to explain the extrajudicial killings to the US President, before boarding a plane to Laos for the Association of South-east Asian Nations summit (ASEAN), he said, “You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum.”
“We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me,” he added.
Reports suggest that after the comments reached the Obama camp, he initially asked his staff to find out whether holding the meeting as scheduled would be useful.
“What I’ve instructed my team to do is to talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out, is if this in fact a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations,” Obama said at the end of the G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
However, hours later a White House spokesman said that a decision has been made to cancel the meeting.