Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, is seriously soughing to defuse a row with the United States, voicing regret for calling President Barack Obama a son of a b%tch. President Duterte, on Tuesday in Manila expressed remorse and regrets that his remarks to the press had caused much controversy.
He explained that the press reports that President Obama would ‘lecture’ him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern. The comment prompted Washington to call off a bilateral meeting. Duterte also expressed his deep regard and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between the two nations.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, said the focus on Duterte’s comments leading into the summit had not created a constructive environment for a bilateral meeting.
“All of the attention frankly was on those comments, and therefore not on the very substantive agenda that we have with the Philippines,” Rhodes said.
Meanwhile, officials from both countries said there would be no formal meeting rescheduled in Laos, but that a short conversation between the two presidents was possible.