Obama calls off meeting with Philippine leader after insult
Written by Morenike Adebayo on September 6, 2016
US President Barack Obama has cancelled what would have been his first meeting with Rodrigo Duterte, hours after the Philippine leader described his American counterpart in vulgar terms.
Duterte called Obama a “son of a whore”, saying that he would not be lectured by the US leader on human rights. Duterte’s tirade came as he bristled at warnings that he would face questioning by the US president at their scheduled meeting over his war against drugs in the Philippines, which has claimed more than two thousand, four hundred lives in just over two months.
However, a statement released by the Philippine president today expressed regret for the tirade against his US counterpart. Duterte was due to hold a bilateral meeting with Obama this afternoon on the sidelines of a gathering of global leaders hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane, the capital of the Laos.
The UN has repeatedly condemned Duterte’s policies as a violation of human rights. This round of Asean talks comes against the backdrop of tensions over China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, the Philippines and the US are key players in that debate.