Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday has formally apologized to former U.S. President Barack Obama for insulting him by calling him a “son of a whore” in 2016.
Duterte also described Obama as “cold” and “always at a distance” while he described President Donald Trump as “a good friend of mine” who “speaks my language.”
Duterte used the slur against Obama in 2016 when asked by reporters how he would respond if the U.S. asked him about human rights concerns at an upcoming ASEAN summit in Laos.
In response, the U.S. cancelled a scheduled bilateral meeting of the two leaders.
“It would be appropriate … to say at this time that, Mr Obama, you’re a civilian, I am sorry for uttering those words,” Duterte said in a speech to the Filipino community in Israel, where he is currently on an official visit.
Duterte added that he had “forgiven” Obama for criticizing his controversial campaign against illegal drugs that resulted in the extra-judicial killings of hundreds of suspected drug addicts and dealers.
“We have learned our lessons very well. We understand each other so if it is in your heart to forgive, you forgive. I have forgiven you,” he said.