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Duterte: I Promised God to Stop Cursing

FILE - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte interacts with reporters during a news conference upon his arrival from a four-day state visit in China.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he will no longer curse, after he had a talk with God.

Duterte said late Thursday in his southern hometown of Davao that God spoke to him on the plane during his recent return trip from Japan.

He said the people on the plane around him were all sleeping when he heard a voice that said "If you don't stop epithets, I will bring this plane down now."

"Who is this," Duterte asked. "So, of course, it's God."

Not one to chance a crash landing, the Philippines leader said he promised the Almighty that he would stop cursing.

"A promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people," the president said.

Duterte has famously used curse words when talking about drug addicts and dealers, and has called world leaders like Pope Francis and U.S. President Barack Obama a "son of a bitch." He also told Obama to "go to hell."

There are indications, however, that his promise could be short-lived.

When reporters asked if his promise to God meant he would drop the profanity he sometimes uses when referring to the United States or the European Union, the president said. "It's all about timing."