MANILA—United States President Barack Obama on Thursday said he did not take Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial statements personally.
The US leader indicated to PRRD that their teams should meet and Duterte’s earlier comments have no impact on America’s broader relationship with the Filipinos.
“I don’t take these comments personally because it seems as if this is a phrase he’s used repeatedly, including directed at the Pope and others. I think it seems to be just a habit, a way of speaking for him,” Obama said.
“It has no impact on our broader relationship with the Philippine people on the wide range of programs and security cooperation,” he added.
The American President further said, “And it certainly has no impact in terms of power. We interpret our obligations to continue to build on a long standing alliance that we have with the Philippines.”
Regarding the illegal drugs issue, he pointed out that the US wants “to make sure that the partnership we have is consistent with international norms and rule of law.”