Obama cancels meeting with Duterte after tirade against him | The Summit Express

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Obama cancels meeting with Duterte after tirade against him



MANILA, Philippines - After President Rodrigo Duterte launched a vulgar tirade against US President Barack Obama on Monday, September 5, the White House has decided to cancel their planned bilateral meeting.

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Obama will instead meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye to discuss issues on North Korea’s latest missile tests. Obama and Duterte were supposed to meet in Vientiane, Laos on Tuesday, September 6, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

Obama cancels meeting with Duterte after tirade against him
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and US President Barack Obama. PHOTO CREDIT: GMA News
“President Obama will not be holding a bilateral meeting with President Duterte of the Philippines this afternoon,” Price announced.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, a visibly angry Duterte cursed at Obama after a reporter mentioned the US president’s supposed plan to confront the Philippine leader about extrajudicial killings.

"Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people. Son of a b*tch, I will swear at you,” Duterte said.

Furthermore, the unorthodox politician said he will not answer the US leader’s questions on human rights if he doesn’t get an apology from the US for the killing of Moros in Mindanao at the start of the 20th century.

“Who is he? When, as a matter of fact, at the turn of the century, before the Americans left the Philippines in the pacification campaign of the Moro in this island, there were about – 6 million ang population ng Moro. How many died? Six hundred. Answer that question and give the apology, I will answer it,” Duterte exclaimed.

The US State Department previously said that Obama is “not going to pull any punches” when he discusses issues of human rights with Duterte in the planned meeting. Aside from human rights issues, the agenda of the meeting includes West Philippine Sea dispute and Duterte calling US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg "gay" and "a son of a b*tch.”

UPDATE: Duterte on Tuesday said he regrets the "strong comments" against Obama.

"While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president," a statement released by Duterte said.

--Mini, The Summit Express