JOLO, Philippines – Despite raising eyebrows in the United States for his unflattering remarks about US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, President Rodrigo Duterte says he has nothing to say sorry for.
"Ako talaga ang may masama na loob sa ginawa niya. So smarting ako. (I'm the one who feels bad about what he did. So I'm still smarting.) I will not apologize for anything," said Duterte on Friday, August 12, in Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu during a media interview.
He also denied reports that US President Barack Obama called him about the incident.
Previously, Duterte called Goldberg a "bakla" (homosexual) who he found annoying because of the diplomat's comments during the 2016 presidential campaign. Goldberg had criticized Duterte's controversial rape remark about an Australian missionary.
Duterte said on Friday that he expected Goldberg to apologize for "meddling" with the country's elections.
"He didn't even apologize when we saw each other. So why will I apologize to him? He started it but when we saw each other several times in Malacañang, never said sorry," said Duterte.
No matter what Goldberg's intentions were in criticizing him, he had influenced national elections, insisted Duterte.
"Whether you like it or not, it will favor the [other] party. If you say I'm black, automatically the other is white," he said.
On how to resolve the issue, he said to give time for healing.
"Maghintay lang kasi ako yung tao na talagang nasaktan kasi election time eh," said the President.
(Just wait because I'm the type of person who was really hurt because it was election time.)
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.