PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte clarified yesterday that the controversial expletives he uttered were not directed at US President Barack Obama.
The President made the clarification in a meeting with the Filipino community during his visit in Indonesia yesterday.
“You can review the tapes. Hindi ko sinabi,” Duterte said before the Filipino community in Indonesia.
He was referring to media reports saying that he called Obama a “son of a whore,” which is the equivalent of “p***ng ina” in Tagalog.
He also hit critics of extrajudicial killings allegedly done in the name of the government’s war on illegal drugs, including United Nations (UN) Secretary Ban Ki-moon, and the US State Department.
“Hindi ko sinabing p*******. May sinabi ako, pero not in relation to Obama,” he said, explaining that he was venting his frustration at questions from the media during a press conference last Monday prior to talks with ASEAN leaders and their dialogue partners in Laos.
Duterte said he met with Obama in passing, on the sidelines of the East Asian summit, and told the US president that he never called him a “son of a b****”, and to check tapes of the press conference.
Duterte also said he presented photos of US military killings during the Philippines-America war at the turn of the century.
“Kahapon, sa interaction na ASEAN, nandoon na lahat, round table kami. This is [a violation of] human rights. What do you intend to do? Do not tell me that is water under the bridge,” he said.
Human rights violations, Duterte said, are still human rights violations whether they were committed by Moses or Abraham.
“When did this philosophy about the human dignity and human rights evolve? Now, or during this time? Tumahimik sila,” he said.
The US State Department should also be careful in saying that it will bring up the issue of human rights with the Philippines, he said, pointing out it is unfair for the US to tell the Philippines to abide by human rights when it had not followed these either.
Later, reports said that Obama snubbed Duterte and did not shake his hands during the East Asia Summit in Laos.
Delegates were shocked after Duterte ditched his prepared speech and instead made a presentation on alleged human rights violations during the Philippine-American War.
The source said Obama went the rounds at the summit, shaking each leader’s hands, except that of Duterte’s
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. tried to downplay the incident when he talked to reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia, where Duterte is currently on a state visit.
Yasay reasoned out that there was no time for Obama to shake Duterte’s hands as the Philippine president had to leave the conference for his bilateral talks with Russia.
He said that when Obama got back to the meeting for the closing rites, Duterte had already left.
Yasay however confirmed Duterte had a prepared speech for the East Asia Summit, but decided to make a presentation on alleged human rights violations perpetrated by the U.S.
Obama just sat still and keenly listened to Duterte’s presentation, according to Yasay.
The foreign affairs chief described Duterte’s debut on the international stage as “brilliant and superb,” giving him an 8.5 rating on a scale of one to 10.
According to Yasay, the president made his positions on several issues quite clearly, particularly his war on drugs and criminality.
Yasay also insisted that the leaders of Japan, Singapore and China were quite impressed with Duterte’s performance.