PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday expressed regret for his scathing remarks against US President Barack Obama.
“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president,” a statement released by Duterte said.
Earlier Duterte said that nobody can lecture him about extrajudicial killings and human rights including Obama. His strong words pushed Obama to ultimately cancel their bilateral meeting which was supposed to be at 4 p.m. yesterday.
Upon his arrival in Laos, Duterte said that he would not want to pick a fight with the “most powerful president on the planet.”
Duterte said that the meeting will still push through at an unspecified time.
“The meeting between the United States and the Philippines has been mutually agreed upon to be moved to a later date,” he said.
Duterte clarified that he was just pushing for an independent foreign policy.
This developed as Malacanang said that Obama should not have cancelled his meeting with President Duterte. The White House announced the cancellation of the said meeting following the insult Obama got from Duterte.
Duterte was asked whether his scheduled meeting with Obama will push through, the latter answered: “I don’t know, maybe if I feel good.”
Earlier, Duterte said that nobody can lecture him on his war against illegal drugs in the country, not even Obama.
“Sila ang isyu nang isyu ng national security adviser niya. I think it was one of his staff, national security adviser was saying they will bring up the matter of extrajudicial killings. That is not a proper subject of a summit like this. It would be improper and highly bastos,” the President said.
“More people will be killed, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue and I will continue,” the President said.
Duterte insisted he would not take orders from the US, a former colonial ruler of the Philippines, and did not care about how he was perceived.
Obama, meanwhile, described Duterte as a “colorful guy,” adding “I always want to make sure if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive.