MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte continues to value the country's alliance with the United States amid the recent controversy following Duterte's remarks against U.S. President Barack Obama.
In a statement, DFA said Duterte is looking forward to "ironing out differences" between the U.S. and the Philippines.
"The President looks forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries," the statement said.
DFA added that Duterte's strong remarks came after reports that Obama would "lecture" him on extra-judicial killings.
"President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would 'lecture' him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern. He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy."
DFA also said Duterte has expressed his deep regard for Obama, asserting his intent to "chart an independent foreign policy and promote closer ties with all nations."
"While asserting the intent to chart an independent foreign policy and promote closer ties with all nations, he expressed his deep regard and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between our nations."
Duterte earlier expressed regret over how his expletive-laced remarks led to the cancellation of his planned meeting with Obama.
The White House announced Tuesday that the two leaders' bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit has been scrapped after Duterte threatened to curse at Obama if the American leader voices concern over the Philippines' brutal campaign against drugs
READ: Duterte 'regrets' comments vs. Obama, hopes to resolve spat