Duterte had also accused Obama of castigating him in a press conference and accused him of meddling with the Philippines' internal issues.
Composite photo, file
Duterte apologizes to, 'forgives' Obama
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - September 3, 2018 - 8:39am

JERUSALEM — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday apologized to former US President Barack Obama, for whom he had harsh words after the US expressed concern in 2016 over the Philippines' bloody war on illegal drugs.

Duterte had called Obama a son of a b**** when asked by reporters on how he would respond if the US asked him about human rights concerns at an upcoming ASEAN summit in Laos.

RELATED: Duterte admits: Not sick at APEC, I avoided Obama

"Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, America has one too many to answer for. Everybody has a terrible record of extrajudicial killings," he also said.

The comments led to the cancellation of a scheduled meeting between the two presidents.

Duterte also accused Obama of castigating him in a press conference and accused him of meddling with the Philippines' internal issues.

Obama, speaking at a press conference after the Laos summit, urged the Philippines to pursue its campaign against drugs in "the right way."

He also said: "Because the consequences when you do it the wrong way, innocent people get hurt. And you have a whole bunch of unintended consequences that don't solve the problem." Obama also acknowledged that the illegal drug trade is a serious problem for the Philippines and for the United States.

Duterte's comments against Obama surfaced again last November in response to criticism of the drug war from the US and the European Union.

"Itong mga puti, mga taga-EU, itong mga ignorante ng mga Amerikano, pretending to be pati itong si Obama. Itim-itim mo mayabang ka. Siya man yun. (These white people, those from EU, the ignorant Americans, pretending to be, this Obama. You are so black and arrogant.) [He] reprimanded me. Why do you reprimand me? I'm the president of a country," Duterte said then. 

RELATED: Resuming rebuke of Obama, Duterte calls him 'black, arrogant'

The tough-talking Philippine leader unexpectedly changed tune on Monday during a meeting with the Filipino community here.

"Mr. Obama, I said, you are now a civilian, I am sorry for uttering those words. Know it was just a plain 'talkatese'... We have learned our lessons very well," Duterte said.

Duterte said he has also forgiven Obama for criticizing his drug war. He then explained that he tends to use foul language when he loses his temper.

"I am forgiving you, just like my girlfriends when I was still a bachelor. I am forgiving you. I have forgiven all of them," Duterte said.

Duterte's controversial campaign against narcotics has left more than 4,000 people dead in acknowledged law enforcement operatons, worrying human rights advocates who claim that the crackdown encourages extrajudicial killings. — Alexis Romero

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