US President Barrack Obama has cancelled the proposed meeting between himself and the Filipino president, over the Philippines president’s unsavory remarks.
The Filipino leader, known to use colorful language and known to be very outspoken, described Obama as Putang ina (son of a whore) in response to Obama’s plan to discuss his policies.
The White House had earlier said Obama would confront Duterte about the ongoing war against drugs in his country. There have been reports of over 2400 extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and users by the police since he took office in June.
Obama got wind of the remarks after the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.
At a press briefing later, Obama said he instructed his aides to speak with Philippine officials to find out if a meeting between the two leaders would be constructive and productive. Hours later, his aides cancelled the meeting.
Duterte has however retracted his comments in a statement issued by his office.
”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”
He went ahead to blame the media’s reports for his “strong comments” against Obama.
He said the press reports that said ”President Obama would lecture him on extrajudicial killings” led to his unsavory remarks which has caused much controversy.
The statement continued saying
”Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the US with which we have had a long-standing partnership,”
“We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries”
This is not the first time President Duterte has used vulgar language against prominent figures.
The Filipino president has used the same remark to describe Pope Francis, called US Secretary of State John Kerry “crazy” and referred to the US ambassador to the Philippines as a “gay son of a whore”.