Philippine prez regrets vulgar remark against Obama
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed regret on Tuesday over his “son of a whore” 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 UN 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 US president”.
Duterte had made the intemperate remarks on Monday before flying to Laos, where he is attending a regional summit. He was scheduled to meet Obama separately, but the White House on Tuesday cancelled the meeting. “President Obama will not be holding a bilateral meeting with President Duterte of the Philippines this afternoon,” said Ned Price, spokesman of the National Security Council, White House.
“Instead, he will meet with President Park of the Republic of Korea this afternoon, September 6,” Price said.
However, Duterte maintained that both the sides had 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”.