Two years since calling him a ‘son of a wh*re’, the Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte has apologised to the former US president Barack Obama. The insult came as a result of a string of criticism from the United States which opposed Duterte’s violent crackdown on drugs. Duterte’s methods were deemed extreme by many nations and the government faced sharp criticism for its actions.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his state of the nation address at Congress in Manila on July 23, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS
Despite the war of words, Duterte has reportedly said that Philippines’ relationship with the US has improved since Donald Trump became president. According to reports, Duterte even described Trump as his ‘good friend’ and someone ‘who speaks my language.’
/ AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI
"It would be appropriate also to say at this time to Obama that you are now a civilian and I am sorry for uttering those words," said Duterte in a speech in Israel. "If it is (in) your heart to forgive, you forgive. I have forgiven you, just like my girlfriends when I was still a bachelor... I have forgiven them also," he added.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the presentation ceremony of the signed document on the Organic Law for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao to officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at Malacanang palace in Manila on August 6, 2018.
President Rodrigo Duterte unveiled a law on August 6 granting greater autonomy to the Philippines' Muslim south, as he expressed hope the measure will at last end decades of bloody separatist conflict.
/ AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE
Post his election, Duterte became notorious for his foul-mouthed approach to his critics which his aides struggled to explain and minimise the damage. Meanwhile, Obama had described Duterte as a ‘colourful guy’ but requested him to conduct his crackdown on drugs ‘the right way.’