“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the US President,” Duterte said in a statement Tuesday.
“Clearly, he’s a colorful guy,” Obama said after landing Monday in Laos.
In his take-back remarks, Duterte urged for a calmer approach to U.S.-Philippines relations after his earlier outburst.
"Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the US with which we have had a longstanding partnership,” his statement added.
Filipino lawmakers chastised Duterte for insulting the country’s former colonial rulers.
“You don’t just slap the face of the most powerful country in the world and expect to get away with it,” Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV told Manila newspaper The Inquirer.