Fil-Am writer: Duterte cussing not directed at Obama

DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements at a press conference during his departure speech on Monday has been totally blown out of proportion by the local and international media.

In the United States, an independent group dissected an accurate transcript of President Duterte’s Q&A with Reuters correspondent Jerome Morales and explained what Duterte said point by point.

Fil-Am writer Nizza Gueco, admittedly not a Duterte fan, was concerned more about the implications of soured US-Philippine relations.

Gueco wrote in a column on the “Liberal America” website, “Lo and behold, my suspicions were true, the line that was cut from the video above wherein the President said “putangina” was not even directed to President Obama, it was directed to the reporter who, according to the President, ‘just threw questions and statements.'”

Lifting directly from a transcript and a copy of the video of the press conference, Gueco pointed out that President Duterte said, ““You know, the Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States. Alam mo marami dyan mga kolumnista (You know there are a lot of columnists) who look up to Obama and the United States as if we are the lapdogs of this country.”

Gueco explains, “In this statement, Duterte was clearly addressing his audience, Obama’s name was only mentioned as an example because somebody in the audience mentioned Obama. I am not a Duterte fan, but anybody listening to that line who understands the language will know that he is not degrading Obama, he is merely lifting his people up.”

The most misconstrued part of the statement reads as follows: “May mga kolumnista dyan na (There are columnists out there that write headlines such as) ‘Who is he? I am a President of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people. You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Putangina (son of a bitch) I will curse you in that forum.”

This clearly indicates that the President addressed the particular reporter who asked an offensive and out-of-line question despite PRRD’s plea that questions be limited to his ASEAN and working trips overseas. PNA/