Duterte says sorry to Obama for ‘harsh’ words in 2016

Almost two years after hurling expletives at former US President Barack Obama for criticizing his war on drugs, President Duterte on Monday apologized, saying he has also forgiven him for meddling in the affairs of the Philippines.

File Photo: President Duterte reacts during a news conference at Malacañang, March 13, 2017.

In September 2016  Duterte called Obama a “son of a b­­–––––h” in a forum in Lao PDR after the former American leader raised concerns on how the Duterte administration implemented its aggressive crackdown against illegal drugs.

“Well then it would be appropriate also to say at this time to Mr. Obama that you are now a civilian and I am sorry for uttering those words,” Duterte said in his speech before the Filipino community in Israel.

“No, it was just a plain talkatess also like yours. We have learned our lessons very well. Nag-ano tayo —nagkakaintindihan tayo [We understand each other],” he added.

Duterte jested about forgiving Obama for criticizing the drug war just as he had forgiven his ex-girlfriends.

“So if it is to your heart to forgive, you forgive. I have forgiven you just like ’yung mga—’yung lahat ng mga girlfriends ko noong binata pa ako [all my girlfriends when I was still single],” Duterte said.

Duterte explained anew that his reason for cursing Obama was because the former US president “castigated” him about human rights when he should have filed a complaint before the United Nations instead.

Obama said Duterte should carry out his drug war “the right way.”

“So eh sinobrahan niya eh [He went overboard]. If you have…qualms, if you have complaints against me, go to the United Nations. File your complaint there and ask for a hearing,” Duterte said.

“Hindi ’yan diretsuhin mo ako [You don’t come to me straight] you tell me in public that I am wrong blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” he added.

He said Obama “ought to know the basic rules” of avoiding to criticize a different country’s problems.

“Being a president of the republic…of a republic that is, you ought to know the basic rules. You do not criticize, especially if it is a problem of the country that you are criticizing,” Duterte said.

Duterte is currently in Israel until September 5, the first Filipino leader to travel to the country, upon invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He also met overseas workers in Israel, saying he was “teary-eyed” upon seeing them there.

“Alam mo bihirang-bihira ako umiiyak [You know, I rarely cry] I could remember maybe the times that I cried, when my father and mother died. But rare, very rare,” Duterte said.

“Ito lang ang bisita ko na [This is the only visit where] maybe I will do it again. I really do not know. But this is the first time napaluha ako na nandito ako sa aking mga kababayang Pilipino [I got teary-eyed in front of my fellow Filipino citizens],” he added.

The President is there to strengthen cooperation in areas such as defense and security, law enforcement, economic development, labor, trade and investments.

From Israel, Duterte will fly to Jordan for another official visit from September 5 to 8 upon the invitation of His Majesty King Abdullah II.

Image Credits: AP /Aaron Favila

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