Duterte tells Obama ‘son of a whore’ remark was not meant to be personal

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has expressed regret for calling Barack Obama a “son of a whore” – a remark that led to the US leader cancelling their meeting during a regional summit in Laos.

In a statement read by his spokesman, Duterte said the remark was not intended as a personal insult. “While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the US president,”

Ernesto Abella quoted Duterte as saying. He added that a meeting with the US had been “mutually agreed upon to be moved to a later date”.

Duterte called Obama a “son of a whore” following weeks of criticism from the US against extrajudicial killings in the Philippines’ bloody drug war.

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