The Associated Press reported: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned President Barack Obama on Monday not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or “son of a bitch I will swear at you” when they meet in Laos during a regional summit.
Duterte said before flying to Laos that he is a leader of a sovereign country and is answerable only to the Filipino people. He was answering a reporter’s question about how he intends to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama. More than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30.
In his typical foul-mouthed style, Duterte responded: “I am a president 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. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina I will swear at you in that forum,” he said, using the Tagalog phrase for son of a bitch. [Continue reading…]
The Associated Press now reports: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed regret Tuesday over his “son of a bitch” remark while referring to President Barack Obama, in a rare display of contrition by a politician whose wide arc of profanities has unabashedly targeted world figures including the pope and the U.N. chief.
In a statement read out by his spokesman, Duterte said that while his “strong comments” in response to certain questions by a reporter “elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president.”
Duterte had made the intemperate remarks Monday before flying to Laos, where he is attending a regional summit. He had been scheduled to meet Obama separately, but Obama indicated he had second thoughts.
On Tuesday, Duterte said both sides mutually agreed to postpone the meeting.
Even though Duterte’s latest comment does not amount to an apology, the expression of regret is unusual for the tough-talking former mayor, who is unapologetic about his manner of speech and liberally peppers his casual statements with profanities such as “son of a bitch” and “son of a whore.”
But perhaps Duterte’s aides realized it would be unwise to take on the most powerful official in the world, and there would be a price to pay for insulting the president of the United States. [Continue reading…]