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Philippines President Duterte promises to stop swearing

On return from Japan, he said that he had promised to God that he will stop swearing

Published: Updated:

For those present at Davao International Airport in Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte sprang a pleasant surprise.

He had just landed after a three-day state visit to Japan. He told those present that on the Thursday night flight he had promised God that he would stop swearing.

He narrated that when he was on board the plane, he heard a voice asking him to stop swearing or the plane would crash midair and then he made that promise.

“A promise to God is a promise to the people,” Duterte said.

Diplomatic rows

His penchant for swearing had led to a series of diplomatic rows with the Philippines’ long-term ally US and President Obama, the EU and even the Pope.

But when it comes to mercurial Duterte, his latest change of heart has left skeptics wondering.

When quizzed later whether he would no longer curse, especially his pet hates, Duterte was quoted as saying that would depend on the right timing.

“There is right timing for that,” he said. “My contemporaries know that.”