An independent group in the United States hired a native tagalog speaker to dissect an accurate transcript of President Duterte’s Q&A with Reuters correspondent Jerome Morales and explained what Duterte said point by point.

Nizza Gueco a writer from ‘Liberal America’ was concerned more about the implications of soured US-Philippine relations. As she admittedly not a Duterte fan.

Gueco wrote in a column on the “Liberal America” website, “Lo and behold, my suspicions were true, the line that was cut from the video, wherein the President said “putang-ina” was not even directed to President Obama, it was directed to the reporter who, according to the President, ‘just threw questions and statements.'”

I repeat. The “son of a whore” statement of the President was not directed at President Obama at all.

President Duterte

On September 5, Duterte gave a 5-minute speech informing the country that he is about to go to Laos for the ASEAN summit.

This is for the people to know the whole story.

After giving his speech, he asked the audience for questions and clarifications, saying:

“Any questions? I will give you a few.. for clarification for the statement only. Do not come more on to politics. It’s too far away.”

Despite his warning of not going too far, one reporter asked him:

“Sir, there have been concerns on extrajudicial killings, sir. And you will meet leaders, any line of communication that we have prepared to address this issue in front of other foreign leaders?”

To which Duterte replied:

“To whom shall I address myself to? Who will be asking the question? May I know?”

Somebody from the audience said, “Like Obama, Sir.” And that started it all. Here is his answer:

You know, the Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of  the United States. Alam mo marame dyan mga kolumnista (You know there are a lot of columnists) who look up to Obama and the United States as if we are the lapdogs of this country.”

In this statement, Duterte was clearly addressing his audience, Obama’s name was only mentioned as an example because somebody in the audience mentioned Obama. I am not a Duterte-fan, but anybody listening to that line, who understands the language will know that he is not degrading Obama, he is merely lifting his people up. He ended it by saying:

“I do not respond to anybody but the people of the Republic of the Philippines”

Now, this is the part that gets dirty. In trying to lift his people, he was subconsciously saying something that can be used against him. Again, from our point of view, his point is that the Philippines should never bow down to any country, there is nothing against President Obama, his name was just dragged.

Wala akong pakelam sakanya (I don’t care about him). Who is he? I am not beholden to anybody.”

After this, he went on and addressed the columnists.

“May mga kolumnista dyan na (There are columnists out there that write headlines such as) ‘Wait until he meets..’ Who is he? I am a President of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people.”

The next line is addressed to the reporter who asked the question, not to Obama as the media is claiming:

You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Putangina (son of a bitch) I will curse you in that forum.”

As a clarification, Duterte is referring to reporters who are not respectful and are throwing questions at him that are not on topic.


Here’s a little Filipino crash course.

Puta = Whore/Bitch

Ina = Mom

Putangina = Son of a Bitch / Son of a Whore

Mo = You

“Putangina” is an expression like, say, “Shit,” or “Crap” are. When “Putangina is followed by “Mo,” that is what makes it become offensive. That is when it becomes “You are a son of a bitch.”

This clearly indicates that the President addressed the particular reporter who asked an offensive and out-of-line question despite PRRD’s plea that questions be limited to his ASEAN and working trips overseas.