MANILA

Duterte apologizes over 'plain' rants vs Obama

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has apologized to former United States (US) president Barack Obama for his "plain" rants against the latter who previously criticized his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs.

In a speech delivered Sunday night (Israel time) before the Filipino community in Jerusalem, Duterte made a public apology to Obama, whom he had branded as a "son a b****" and asked to "go to hell" for intervening in his staunch war on narcotics trade.

"Nagalit ako, sabi ko, 'P***** i**, Obama, you can go to hell. You son of a b****.' Sinabi ko iyan because he was not a civilized person anyway. Being a president of the Republic there, you ought to know the basic rules. You do not criticize, especially if it is a problem of a country that you are criticizing. You do not know kung anong solusyon mo," Duterte said.

(I was infuriated, so I said, "Son of a b****, Obama, you can go to hell. You son of a b****." I said that because he was not a civilized person anyway. Being a president of the Republic there, you ought to know the basic rules, you do not criticize, especially if it is a problem of a country that you are criticizing. You do not know what solution you can offer.)

"Well then, it is appropriate also to say at this time that Mr. Obama, you are now a civilian and I am sorry for uttering these words. We have learned our lessons very well. Nag-ano tayo, nagkakaintindihan tayo (We understand each other)," he added.

In September 2016, Duterte called Obama "son of a w****" and told the latter not to question him about the supposed extrajudicial killings linked to his brutal anti-narcotics drive.

A month after his expletive-laced remarks against Obama, Duterte again lashed out at the then US president, telling him to "go to hell."

Obama did not take offense at Duterte's cursing but urged the firebrand Philippine leader to carry out the drug war "the right way."

In his latest speech, Duterte said he had already "forgiven" Obama, who is "cold" to him unlike incumbent US President Donald Trump, whom he stressed is a "bit warmer."

"If it is for your heart to forgive, you forgive. I have forgiven you," he told Obama.

The President also reassured that the Philippines has better ties with the US, its long-time ally, under Trump's leadership.

"Ngayon (Now), here is America. There comes Trump. Trump is a good friend of mine. He is because he speaks my language and he is a bit warmer," Duterte said. (SunStar Philippines)


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