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Philippines President Says “Son of a Whore” Comment to Obama Wasn’t Personal

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Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has apologized to U.S. President Barack Obama for recently calling him a “son of a whore.” This inappropriate remark led to Obama cancelling what would have been his first meeting with Duterte, according to The Telegraph, though the Filipino president asserts that postponing the meeting was a mutual decision.

Duterte’s rude comment came following rumors that Obama would criticize Duterte’s use of extrajudicial killings to deal with drug-related crimes in their upcoming meeting. His remark, “putang ina,” can mean “son of a bitch” or “son of a whore.”

“Plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets,” Duterte said. “Until the [last] drug manufacturer is killed we will continue.”

According to The Telegraph, over 2,000 people have been killed in the Phillipines since July 1, many for drug-related charges. Duterte uses the term “deaths under investigation,” but many argue that the killings are vigilante and unlawful—these people do not get due process before being murdered.

The Guardian reported that Obama was only going to engage in “some constructive, productive conversations,” during the meeting, and Duterte has since apologized.

“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress,” he said in a statement, “we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president.”

“I do not want to quarrel with him,” Duterte concluded. “He’s the most powerful president of any country on the planet.”


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