POLITICS: Duterte Expresses Regret After Cursing Obama P30
Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte says he regrets labelling US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” before the pair were due to meet on the sidelines of an international summit. Mr Duterte said he regretted that his comments “came across as a personal attack” on Mr Obama, after the White House cancelled a scheduled meeting. The Philippines leader has been roundly criticised outside his country for a “war on drugs” that has killed about 2,400 people since he took office two months ago. The White House had earlier said Mr Obama would not pull any punches on his concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines when meeting Mr Duterte. “Who is he to confront me?” Mr Duterte had told journalists ahead of the ASEAN summit in Laos. “You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum.” The Philippines Government moved to soothe tensions between the nations after the meeting was cancelled.
“President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would ‘lecture’ him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern,” the Government said in a statement. “He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy.” In a separate statement, Mr Duterte said he remained committed to Manila’s alliance with the United States. “Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting ties with all nations, especially the US with which we have had a longstanding partnership,” he said. Instead of meeting Mr Duterte, Mr Obama is now planning to meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye, where North Korean missile testing is expected to be on the agenda. “I always want to make sure that if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done,” Mr Obama said. Mr Duterte won the presidency in May after he promising to suppress crime and wipe out drugs and drug dealers.
At least 2,400 people have been killed since he took office on July 1, including 900 in police operations against drug pushers.
The rest are “deaths under investigation”, a term human rights activists in the Philippines say is a euphemism for vigilante and extrajudicial killings. The controversial leader has used the “son of a whore” insult in public previously, using the term to curse Pope Francis and US ambassador Phillip Goldberg. Reuters
You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.