Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte expressed regret on Friday for calling US President Barack Obama a "son of a whore". But then he went on to call UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a "fool".
Duterte specified he had not meant to insult the American President when he called him a “son of a whore” -- a view most certainly not shared by the Americans who decided to cancel a meeting between the two heads of state.
Duterete said his statement did not refer directly to Obama but to the US state department, which has raised concerns of human rights violations over the at least 3,000 deaths that have occurred during Duterte's "war on drugs". That war was begun only about two months ago, when Duterte took over as President.
"I got really angry about these threats over this human rights issue. This is the fault of the crazy people in the State Department," he said.
Commenting on the espression "putagina", Filipino slang for "whore", Duterte said “it is just an ordinary expression (used) by everyone” and that it should not be taken literally.
The two Presidents (Duterte and Obama) met briefly during the ASEAN summit in Laos, with AFP reporting Duterte as saying he had clarified the matter and that things were now settled.
Duterte however will have to soothe other ruffled feathers too. The President of the Philippines has also called the pope and the US ambassador in Manila "sons of whores". And on Friday he called UN chief Ban Ki-moon a "fool"; the United Nations has also spoken out against his crackdown,
There have been no apologies -- apart from the one to Obama -- so far. "I will continue the campaign against the criminals. I do not have any pity for them," Duterte said.
He ended with the colourful: "I don't give a shit. I am the president of the Philippines, not the republic of the international community."
(WION with inputs from agencies)