The Philippine's chargé d'affaires was called in by the U.S. Department of State to "clarify" comments made by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in which he said the U.S. ambassador to his country was a "gay son of a bitch." Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ignited a diplomatic row with the United States after he called Philip Goldberg, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, a "gay son of a bitch."
Duterte made the comment on Friday while speaking in the Tagalog language during an address to troops at the Philippine's Armed Forces Central Command Headquarters.
He was recounting an incident in which he and his incoming defense chief Gen. Delfin Lorenzana met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the diplomat's recent visit to the Philippines while Duterte was feuding with Goldberg -- the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines since 2013.
"I was with Delfin Lorenzana. We talked to Kerry, he was actually OK because I had a fight with his ambassador. I told him: 'your ambassador is a gay son of a bitch,'" Duterte said. "I was annoyed at him, for interfering in the elections, giving statements here and there. He wasn't supposed to do that."
Duterte went on to suggest Kerry was "crazy." He said perhaps he should have offended Kerry more to receive more financial aid.
"Kerry came here, we had a meal, and he left me and Delfin $33 million. I said, OK, maybe we should offend them more, so this crazy will just give more money, just to make peace. So, it's all about the money," Duterte said.
The U.S. State Department followed up by summoning the Philippine's chargé d'affaires to "clarify" Duterte's comments.
"We've seen those inappropriate comments made about ambassador Goldberg," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said during a briefing Monday. "He's a multi-time ambassador, one of our most senior U.S. diplomats. We have asked the Philippines charge to come into the State Department to clarify those remarks."