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Just being sarcastic: Duterte says sorry to Suu Kyi over ‘genocide’ remark


President Rodrigo Duterte has apologized to Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for saying genocide is taking place in her country, clarifying that the remark was a jab at Western nations.

In a press briefing Friday (April 13) after his trip to Hong Kong, Duterte explained that the remark was prompted by the Europe’s alarm over human rights violations.

“I will address to the — si Madame — si — sa Burma? Aung [San Suu] Kyi. I will apologize to you but if you have noticed my statement was almost a satire or — just being… Kasi sabi nitong mga Europeans, there’s a lot of violation sa human rights in Burma,” he said.

Duterte said he wanted to know what the Europeans would do regarding the plight of the Rohingya Muslims, who are facing persecution in Myanmar.

He, however, said he did not mean to interfere in Myanmar’s internal affairs.

“Madam Chancellor, let me confess to you publicly. I was doing a — a very sarcastic… I was just adapting their findings that there are a lot of violations in your country. I am not ready to intervene in your…,” he said.

Last week, Duterte said the Philippines was ready to provide sanctuary for the Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing from what he called “genocide,” a remark which a Myanmar government spokesperson said indicates the President’s ignorance about his Southeast Asian neighbor.

Duterte scored Europe anew for failing to back up its strong statements about human rights with action by accepting the Rohingya refugees.

“If you are willing to do that, I am ready to accept my share of responsibility in the name of humanity. Sige nga. Puro daldal lang kasi kayo eh,” he said.

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