- President Duterte told members of the media that he respects and salutes them
- Duterte also encouraged journalists to criticize him if he makes mistakes in running the country
- He also clarified that he did not curse US President Barack Obama and that he was directing his controversial comments at the US State department
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday applauded media members for doing their duties as journalists.
“Every time you press that button in your camera, you record history of this country kaya importante kayo (that is why you are important). Saludo ako (sa inyo) (I salute you),” the President said.
He also encouraged journalists to give constructive criticisms if he makes mistakes in fulfilling his duties as the leader of the country.
“Do not hesitate to attack me, criticize me, if I do wrong in my job,” Duterte said.
The President also explained that he was not angry with the media despite making international headlines for his alleged insult of U.S. President Barack Obama.
“I am not at liberty to be angry at anybody. It is your sworn duty to ask questions. It is also my obligation to my people for the money spent in this trip and for all the things that cost the Filipino, I have to make an official report. Wala akong galit sa inyo (I have no anger towards you),” Duterte explained.
(photo credit: inquirer.net)
READ ALSO: Duterte tells Obama he never cursed him
Duterte has already clarified his controversial comments, saying that he was not referring to Obama when he said “son of a whore” but to the U.S. State department.
Obama initially canceled the scheduled meeting with Duterte. But after the Philippine President clarified his statements, Obama said that they can meet at a later date.
Some local and international sectors criticized Duterte for his comments, saying that the Philippines and its people might suffer due to his insult of the U.S. leader.
On the other hand, various sectors also lauded Duterte for standing up to Obama and for defending the sovereignty of the Philippines.