Duterte on Obama ‘slur’: I never made statement; it’s media spin

/ 03:02 PM September 09, 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses delegates of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, a parallel summit in the ongoing 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and other related summits Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 in Vientiane, Laos. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses delegates of the Asean Business and Investment Summit, a parallel summit in the 28th and 29th Asean summits and other related summits, on Sept. 6 in Vientiane, Laos. AP

President Rodrigo Duterte is going out of his way to clarify news media reports that he called United States President Barack Obama a “son of a whore.”

In a speech before hundreds of Filipino community members at the grand ballroom of the Shangri-La Jakarta on Friday, the President claimed he never made the statement and blamed the media for twisting his departure speech which led to the cancellation of his meeting with Obama at the Asean summit in Laos.


“I never made statement … it’s just a media spin. I never confronted Obama—I don’t know him—before taking off from Davao,” said the President.

He cited TV5’s Ed Lingao’s apology as proof that the media made a mistake in claiming that he called Obama a son of a whore. After Lingao found out that his breaking news about Duterte’s alleged insult against Obama was based on wrong information fed by his Davao correspondent, the President said the reporter quickly apologized for the mistake because he realized that “I never made any reference to Obama.”


Duterte blamed the “jaundiced” and “yellow” group for fueling the wrong news and the US Department of State for crucifying him on extrajudicial killings.

He said his favorite Filipino cuss word—p*tang ina—was lost in translation. He said foreign media translated it literally as “son of a whore” which he thought Obama took as a slight, specially the word “whore.”

“A whore is (a) very terrible thing to hear. I was talking all along in the dialect,” said the President.

He said the most apt translation of his cuss was “son of a b*tch,” “son of a gun” and “f*ck you.”

“That is an ordinary thing. ‎Everybody, whether American, African, who knows English would say, ‘son of a b*tch’ or ‘son of a gun.’ It is not ‘son of a whore,’ that is never the translation. But that is what they used and he (Obama) took offense. See what the international press used,” Duterte said.

He also said he personally told Obama that he never called him the son of a whore. “I told him in a holding room, ‘President Obama, I’m President Duterte. I never made that statement.’ Check it out,” said the President.

Duterte said Obama’s reply was: “My men will talk to you.” To which the President replied: “Okay.”


‎He said the public should “watch out for the press” because “when they are after you, they would make it appear to be the worst of you.”

But despite going out of his way to explain his gaffe, the President said he didn’t care what the press wrote about him. “I don’t give a sh*t. Why?  Because I am not the President of the international community. So what if my reputation is bad? I said I don’t give a sh*t. I am the President of the Republic of the Philippines, not the republic of the international community. You can all go to hell, I will do what I think is best for my country,” he said.

Obama has since declared that he does not take the Duterte’s slur “personally” and he looks forward to meeting the Philippine President another time.


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TAGS: Barack Obama, Indonesia, Rodrigo Duterte
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