Watch: Obama Says He Did Not Take Duterte’s Comment Personally, Just as the Pope Did (Video)
US President Barack Obama.said this Thursday, September 8 that he is not taking President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment personally. This is despite the fact that many Duterte critics were worried that it may have a negative affect on the relationship between US and the Philippines. Watch President Obama’s response on the video below.
“I did shake hands with President Duterte last night. It was not a long interaction. And what I indicated to him is that my team should be meeting with his and determine how we can move forward on a whole range of issues.” President Obama said with a smile. The two presidents also had a short chat while waiting for the gala dinner at the ASEAN Summit.
“As I said when I was asked about this in China, I don’t take these comments personally because it seems that this is a phrase he’s used repeatedly, directed at the Pope and others and so, I think it seems to be just a habit, a way of speaking for him.” He added, with the supposed first Obama-Duterte meeting being canceled and was set for another day.
“We want to partner with the Philippines on the particular issue of narco traffickers which is a serious problem in the Philippines, it’s a serious problem in the United States and around the world. On that narrow issue we do want to make sure that the partnership we have is consistent with international norms and rule of law,” The American president noted.
Nevertheless, President Obama emphasized that fighting illegal drugs should be done in accordance with the laws. He then noted that doing it the wrong way might only add to the problem, and that innocent lives will be lost. Obama will end his second term as president this year, as the US presidential election this November 8 is exactly two months away.