Duterte clarifies his cuss word was not intended for Obama

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday clarified that his “son of a whore” remark was not directed at US President Barack Obama but to a reporter who asked him about alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines.

”May sinabi ako pero (I said something but it was) not in relation to Obama. Sabi ko ‘wag ninyo ako bastusin, (I said do not disrespect me) p***** i** ninyo. Bababuyin. ‘Yun man ang sinabi ko (That was what I said) and you can review the tape,” President Duterte explained to the Filipino community in Indonesia.

President Duterte said he told Obama during their brief meeting before a gala dinner last Wednesday at the ASEAN Summit in Laos that he never cursed the US leader.

”Sinabi ko sa kanya (Obama) doon sa (I told him at the) holding room, ‘President Obama, I’m President Duterte. I never made that statement. Check it out.’ ‘My men will talk to you.’ Sabi ko, (I said) ‘Okay.’” President Duterte narrated.

Duterte said some members of the press might have twisted his remark, citing as proof an apology made by TV news anchor Ed Lingao.

”I never made that statement. There was never any interview here. But kung nag-spin itong media. I never confronted Obama here. I do not know him. Before taking off sa Davao, nag-call ako ng press con (Before taking off from Davao, I called for a press conference),” he explained.

Media reports about President Duterte’s remark prompted Obama to cancel his bilateral meeting with his Philippine counterpart during the Summit.

Before leaving for the Laos Summit last Monday, President Duterte held a press conference where he answered a Filipino reporter: “I am the President of the sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people. Nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. P***** i** mo mumurahin kita sa forum na yan. (I will curse you in that forum.) There are a lot of you so much about extrajudicial killings and then connect it with Obama. I do not want to pick a quarrel with Obama but certainly I would not appear to be beholden to anybody. I’m only answerable again to the Filipino people who elected me.”

President Duterte explained that when he said the expletive, it means “son of a bitch” or “son of a gun”.

”A whore is a very terrible thing to hear. I was talking all along in the dialect. The best combinations thereof the words, translating it to English, and they do it every day, ‘son of a bitch, son of a gun’, ‘di ba? (isn’t it?),” he said. Jelly Musico/PNA/northboundasia.com