President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday, September 6, that he regretted his “strong” comments that seemed like he was hitting US President Barack Obama.
“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to press questions that elicited concern and distress we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US President,” Duterte’s statement said.
Before he left for Vientiane, Laos to attend the ASEAN summits, Duterte said that no one has the right to lecture him about extrajudicial killings and human rights, including Obama. Just like his usual style, he uttered a few expletives, which pushed Obama to cancel the planned meeting at the sidelines of the summits.
The US president also called Duterte a “colorful guy” upon hearing the Philippine president’s remarks.
Upon arriving in Laos, Duterte said that he did not want to quarrel with Obama, the “most powerful president in the planet,” as per his description.
In his statement, Duterte said that the PH-US meeting will still happen but at a later date.
“The meeting between the United States and the Philippines has been mutually agreed upon to be moved to a later date,” he said.
Duterte said that he intended to make the Philippines’ independent foreign policy clear.
“Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the US with which we have had a long standing partnership,” Duterte said in his statement.
This also echoed Obama’s words when he said that the Philippines is among their closest allies, their treaty allies.
“We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries,” he added.
Here’s the photo of Duterte’s statement given to People’s Television (PTV) by Presidential Communications Office Asec. Joseph Lawrence Garcia.
FYI: Statement of the President on US-PH meeting
Source | PCO Asec Joseph Florence Garcia pic.twitter.com/mJuKKzAtw8
— People’s Television (@PTVph) September 6, 2016