Obama’s soft response eased the tension between him and Duterte

US President Obama has shrugged off a rude remark from Rodrigo Duterte but the outburst from the Filipino president resulted in Washington’s cancellation of a scheduled meeting between the two leaders.

Duterte threatened to curse the U.S. commander-in-chief if Obama brings up the extrajudicial killings by Philippine authorities in a sweeping crackdown on drug trafficking. Speaking to reporters, Duterte said the Philippines is a “sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony,” according to the Associated Press.

He added: “I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. ‘Putang ina‘ (Son-of-a-whore) I will swear at you in that forum.”

Obama said he had been told of Duterte’s comments, but the U.S. president shrugged it off as another in a line of “colourful statements” from Duterte.

“Clearly, he’s a colourful guy,” Obama said. (Associated Press)

However, Duterte once again slammed the American president by telling him “You can go to hell.” We still don’t know why Duterte hates the United States so much.