Philippines’ Duterte calls President Obama ‘son of a whore’

Philippines' Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called Barack Obama a “son of a whore” on Monday, September 5, as he vowed not to be lectured by the US leader on human rights when they meet in Laos, where the Association of South-East Asian Nations summit is being held.

The acid-tongued Duterte bristled at warnings he would face questioning by the US president over a war against drugs in the Philippines that has claimed more than 2,400 lives in just over two months.

“You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum,” Duterte told a news conference shortly before flying to Laos to attend a summit.

“We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me.”

Duterte was due to hold a bilateral meeting with Obama on Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of a gathering of global leaders hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane, the Lao capital.

But shortly after Duterte spoke, Obama appeared to cast doubt on whether such a meeting could take place.

Calling Duterte “a colourful guy”, the US president said he has asked his staff to find out whether a meeting would be useful.

“I always want to make sure if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done,” he told reporters.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Obama said Washington recognised that drugs were a significant problem for the Philippines. But he insisted that he would not shy away from raising concerns about the way the issue was being handled under the new administration.

“The issue of how we approach fighting crime and drug trafficking is a serious one for all of us. We’ve got to do it the right way,” he said.

“Undoubtedly, if and when we have a meeting, this is something that’s going to be brought up. And my expectation, my hope is that it could be dealt with constructively.”

Duterte has angrily rejected criticism from the Catholic Church, human rights groups, legislators and the United Nations.

And he vowed Monday the bloodbath would continue as he pursued his goal of eradicating illegal narcotics in the Philippines.

He has also branded Pope Francis and the US ambassador to Manila sons of whores.

Duterte tells Obama ‘son of a whore’ remark wasn’t personal

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The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has expressed regret for calling Barack Obama a “son of a whore” – a remark that led to the US leader cancelling their meeting during a regional summit in Laos.

In a statement read by his spokesman, Duterte said the remark was not intended as a personal insult. “While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the US president,” Ernesto Abella quoted Duterte as saying.

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