The President of the United States cancels a planned meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. This should have been the first official bilateral meeting between the two leaders of the Philippines and the United States. Barack Obama was informed regarding harsh comments that Rodrigo Duterte lamented on him in a press conference prior to leaving the Philippines for an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit in Vientiane, Laos. The meeting should have been taken place in Laos wherein both leaders will take advantage of their time to have a bilateral talks during the ASEAN summit.
Obama was informed by his administrative aides who scooped Duterte's comments while they were attending a G20 (Group of 20 largest economies of the world) summit that was held in Hangzhou, China. After knowing about the comments towards him, Obama requested some of his officials to further conduct a further investigation on the issue. US President Barack Obama was expecting that the meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte should have been a moment where a productive as well as a constructive issue will be discussed between the two nations. However, the plan went otherwise between the two leaders.
|US President Barack Obama on the left and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on the right|
President Rodrigo Duterte called out harsh words against Barack Obama during a press conference in Davao City before leaving the Philippines. Duterte lashed about Obama's concern with regards to his style of neutralizing criminals responsible for the use, distribution, and manufacturing illegal substances across the country. Duterte mentioned that his strategic response with his aim to cleanse the Philippine government should be out of context by international communities and they should wait until the Philippines will be free from crime after a few months more.
During the ASEAN Summit in Laos, Duterte urges Barack Obama not to meddle with him against the extra-judicial killings in the Philippines. However, the United States aide of Barack Obama denies it, stating that the supposed meeting should have been a part of a formal bilateral talks between the two countries. The planned first meeting between the two presidents will talk more about political and economic issues because Philippines is a known ally of the United States.
Rodrigo Duterte is known for his colorful remarks towards other leaders. They were Pope Francis and US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. Duterte's furious words of wisdom was due to the questioning of his strategic response against traffickers in the Philippines.
When President Duterte was running for president, one of his main missions is to eradicate traffickers and users of illegal drugs in the Philippines. When he won as the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines, Duterte vows to execute even the last remaining traffickers in the country, making the Philippines one of the countries to have the lowest criminal rates in the world.
Even if President Duterte will no longer meet with US President Barack Obama, he is still excited to meet other president who attended the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos. He hopes to make personal contacts with the head of states of his neighbors in Southeast Asia. Duterte is also hoping to have a meeting for Vladimir Putin in Laos if given a chance.
After the ASEAN Summit, President Rodrigo Duterte will travel to Indonesia. He is expected to meet Mary Jane Veloso, who is now waiting for her execution in Indonesia after the authorities nabbed several trafficked substances at the airport in Indonesia. Duterte hopes that Mary Jane's case will be resolved, but will still respect the law and decision of Indonesia.