Duterte went on to blame the US for causing the unrest on the southern Philippines Island of Mindanao.

Philippines president to Obama Im no American puppet Phillipines govt/ Wikemedia Commons
news International Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 10:24

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed regret over his obscene remarks for US President Barack Obama in which he called the latter "son of a whore".

Duterte in a statement said his comments "came across as a personal attack on the US President", Xinhua news agency reported.

He made the remarks on Monday before flying to Laos, where he was to meet Obama on the sideline of the Asean and East Asia Summits, EFE news reported.

However, the White House cancelled the bilateral meeting after Duterte tore into Obama with an obscenity.

In response, the White House cancelled President Obama's upcoming meeting with Duterte in Laos this week, where Obama is attending a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders, CNN quoted National Security Council spokesman as saying.

Earlier, hinting that his planned meeting with Duterte may not go forward, Obama said, "I always want to make sure if I'm having a meeting that it's productive and we're getting something done," 

"If and when we have a meeting, this is something that is going to be brought up," Obama said, referring to the Philippines' controversial record of combating drug crime since Duterte took office earlier in 2016.

"Look at the human rights of America along that line. The way they treat the migrants there," CNN quoted Obama as saying.

Since Duterte was elected, more than 1,900 people have died, including at least 700 in police operations that were part of the President's hard-line war on drugs.

"Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars -- or below the ground, if they so wish," Duterte said during his State of the Nation speech on July 25.

Human Rights Watch has called for the International Narcotics Control Board and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to condemn the "alarming surge in killings of suspected drug users or dealers" in the country.

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