By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
JERUSALEM, Israel – After harboring ill feelings for so long, President Duterte has finally mellowed on former United States President Barack Obama, apologizing to him for cursing him out for the past two years.
In his speech during his meeting with members of the Filipino community here, Duterte recalled how he cursed out Obama in public for criticizing his war on drugs, and for telling him to uphold human rights.
According to Duterte, Obama should know never to criticize a country for the problems that they are trying to solve.
“Being the President of a republic, you ought to know the basic rules. You do not criticize, especially if it is a problem of the country that you are criticizing,” he said late Sunday night in Jerusalem, Monday before dawn in Manila.
Duterte said Obama should not have gone public with his criticisms on him and instead should have lodged a complaint with the United Nations (UN).
“Obama in public in a press briefing, knowing fully well that he was talking about me, who is a head of state, however small and humble may be, he castigated me about human rights. Eh, sinobrahan niya eh (He went too far),” he said.
“If you have – qualms, if you have complaints against me, go to the United Nations. File your complaint there and ask for a hearing. Hindi ‘yan diretsuhin mo ako (You don’t go outright and) you tell me in public that I am wrong,” he added.
However, Duterte acknowledged that it is now probably time to bury the hatchet.
“Well then it would be appropriate also to say at this time to Mr. Obama that you are now a civilian and I am sorry for uttering those words,” he said after repeating the expletives he used to hurl at the former US President.
“Know it was just a plain ‘talkatese’ like yours. We have learned our lessons very well,” he added.
Duterte also jested that he is now forgiving Obama for hurting him like his former girlfriends.
“So if it is to your heart to forgive, you forgive. I have forgiven you, just like ‘yung mga…lahat ng mga naging girlfriends ko noong binata pa ako (just like what I did to all my girlfriends when I was still a bachelor). I am forgiving you. Pinatawad ko na silang lahat (I have already forgiven them all), he said.
Duterte has been slamming and cursing at Obama for criticizing his drug war. He had also compared Obama to incumbent US President Donald Trump whom he treats as a good friend after the former TV host commended his efforts in solving the country’s drug problem.
This was not the first time this year that Duterte had mellowed down on the people he likes to criticize. In mid-August, Duterte said that he was now willing to let his beef with broadcast giant ABS-CBN be water under the bridge.
Duterte, since winning the elections had criticized ABS-CBN and even threatened to block the renewal of their franchise.
In his speech in Malacañang, Duterte said that he was willing to let the issue pass but reiterated that he was hurt when the network did not air his ads during the previous elections.
“I will not say I am sorry but you should understand me. ‘Yung placement ko na hindi natuloy, tapos nababoy pa ako (My ad placement was not aired, then I was also ridiculed),” Duterte said.
“So that was really hurting. Kaya minsan (So sometimes) I blurt it out but I’ve learned to live with it, actually. Kung minsan mag-init lang ang ulo ko (Sometimes I just get so angry). But let’s just understand each other, and let it pass. I said because let no man with no sin cast the first stone,” he added.