Senate President Koko Pimentel defended President Rodrigo Duterte amid the hullabaloo over his canceled meeting with United States President Barack Obama at the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Laos.
Pimentel said US diplomats are not just used to hearing cuss words from a head of state noting that the President is not pertaining to any particular person.
“It is not directed to one person. Of course, the US diplomats are not used to hearing the head of state integrating curse words in his statements, but we know our president, ganyan po ang kanyang pananalita,” he said.
“Siguro we just have to explain and then beg for the understanding of foreigners to understand that our president speaks that way and that should be accepted,” he added.
Pimentel believes that the decades-long relationship between the US and the Philippines will not be affected by Duterte’s actions.
“Negotiation at the international level are not conducted by the President himself, these are conducted by our professionals in the Department of Foreign Affairs, so let us allow the president to be himself, anyway we accept the consequences of him being himself tuloy pa rin ang friendly negotiations of the country,” he said.
“Hindi ganyan ang America, hindi rin ganyan kababaw ang Pilipinas, nasingatan ng presidente natin ng curse words yung kanyang sinabi, he is not cursing any particular individual so I dont think this will have any long lasting or serious consequences in Philippines-US relations,” he added.
Washington called off a bilateral meeting between Obama and Duterte after the latter insulted the US President using curse words such as “son of a bitch”.
Duterte has warned Obama not to raise the issue of human rights when they meet at the ASEAN summit insisting sovereignty of the Philippines.
Earlier reports said that Obama would “lecture” Duterte on extrajudicial killings happening under his watch. About 2,400 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte took office two months ago. source