Duterte Says He Didn’t Insult Obama, Calls UN Chief a “Fool”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said UN chief Ban Ki-moon was a “fool” for bringing up human rights.

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World
2 min read
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte insisted he didn’t insult Obama. (Photo: AP)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte insisted on Friday that he had not called US President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch”, but continued to maintain a defiant stance on his war on drugs, saying UN chief Ban Ki-moon was a “fool” for bringing up human rights.

US President Obama cancelled a planned meeting with Duterte at this week’s ASEAN summit in Laos after the Philippine leader’s alleged insult in his native Tagalog, but the two met briefly later as they waited to take their seats at a banquet.



Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly abused US president Barack Obama. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly abused US president Barack Obama. (Photo: The Quint)

Duterte almost justified his statement on Friday by saying that he thought UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a fool for bringing up the issue of human rights violations weeks before the summit in Laos.

Even Ban Ki-moon weighed in. Also gave a statement before, several weeks ago, about the human rights violation. Sabi ko, isa ka pang tarantado (You are another fool).

Duterte also said he would try to boost security for ships using the waters between Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, where there have been several kidnappings and other attacks.

The Philippines would let Indonesian forces pursuing pirates enter its waters, he said.

He insisted his remarks were not directed at Obama but at the US State Department, which has raised concerns over potential human rights violations in Duterte’s anti-crime campaign which has left almost 3,000 dead in just over two months.

(This article has been edited for length.)

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