Fil-Am lawyer defends Duterte's comments on Obama

Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2016 05:59 PM

SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA - Attorney Adnan Alonto, overall North America coordinator for the Brotherhood for Duterte USA, said he is not disappointed with President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments in relation to United States President Barack Obama.

“I think President Duterte just wanted to drive home the point that he will pursue an independent foreign policy for the Philippines,” said Alonto.

“Our strategic interest with the US in the region will keep us together and the incident will, I believe, just be a small footnote in the years to come.”

Alonto said the media is only focused on Duterte’s choice of words instead of what was really being said.

“He did not really, actually curse Obama but it was part of a narrative in answer to a hypothetical question if Obama was to raise the extrajudicial issue,” said Alonto.

Alonto agreed that President Duterte could use a better choice of words, but he was overall proud of what the Philippine leader said.

“The important thing in that statement was that he was really being emphatic about being a leader of a sovereign nation and that he would not be told how to run his country,” he said.

President Duterte is known for speaking his mind freely, and Alonto reminds people that it's because of the president's honesty that he is so trusted.

"The thing about this president, the reason he has been able to go scot-free with all of those incidents is because people who know him, 91% of the Filipino people believe that he is an authentic person--he means what he says and says what he means," he said.

Attorney Alonto said he is disappointed that Duterte and Obama did not meet. However, he is confident that they will have a productive engagement when they finally do.