PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday clarified that he never assailed United States (US) President Barack Obama with expletives and stressed that the media merely “spin stories” about his cursing.
Speaking before the Filipino community in Jakarta, Indonesia, the President, for the first time, denied reports that he called Obama “son of a whore” during a press conference held in an airport in Davao City on September 5.
“I never made any reference to Obama,” Duterte said, referring to the profane words he uttered at the interview, when asked about Obama raising the human rights issue with him when they meet.
“You can review the tapes. I did not say [son of a whore to Obama]. I did say [son of a whore] but not in relation to Obama. I said, ‘Do not disrespect me. Son of a whore, we will be wallowing in the muds like pigs if you do that.’ That’s what I said,” he added.
Obama cancelled the bilateral meeting with Duterte and moved it to a later date, following reports that he was insulted by the latter.
Following the postponed dialogue, Duterte issues a statement, expressing regret for lashing out at Obama and noted that his remark was not a “personal attack” towards the US leader.
Duterte said that when he briefly met Obama at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, he already explained himself and even asked Obama to check the tapes of the interview.
“I told him this, ‘President Obama, I’m President Duterte. I’ve never made that statement. You can check it out. Check it out.’ He said, ‘Later, I will talk to you.' I said, ‘Okay,’” the President said.
Duterte then put the blame on the media, citing particularly the American press, whom he said made the erroneous reports about him describing Obama as a "son of a whore."
“For whatever reason, the things you say, they (the media) can spin stories several times over,” he said.
"If they are after you, they would -- I said -- make it appear to be the worst of you. So watch out the press. They can spin. They will spin everything to make [you bad]. Me? I don't give a shit. Why? Because I am not the president of the international community," he added. (Sunnex)