The Philippines says President Rodrigo Duterte regrets comments he made about U.S. President Barack Obama. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The Philippines said on Tuesday (September 6) that President Rodrigo Duterte regretted that comments he made about U.S. President Barack Obama came across as a personal attack and led to the cancellation of a meeting between the leaders of the allied nations. "President Duterte explained that the press reports that the President Obama would "lecture" him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern. He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy," Philippines Communication Secretary Martin Andanar said at a summit in Laos. "The President looks forward to ironing out differences," he added. Obama cancelled what would have been his first meeting with Duterte, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday, saying he had told his aides to speak with Philippine officials to find out if a meeting would be "constructive, productive" at this time. Duterte, a plain-spoken populist known for his colourful remarks and his campaign against illegal drugs in which thousands of people have died, referred to Obama as a "son of a bitch" in front of reporters on Monday (September 5), a day ahead of the planned meeting in Laos, where Southeast Asian leaders are meeting for annual summits.