Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, warned President Barack Obama on Monday not to question him about his country’s extrajudicial killings when they meet during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Vientiane, Laos, or he would “swear at” him.
Since taking office on June 30, Duterte has launched an aggressive plan to put an end to suspected drug dealers and traffickers in his country, and his plan is to just kill all of them. He has overseen the deaths of over 2,000 suspected drug runners within the past two months. Hundreds of dead bodies have turned up in the Philippines, some with harshly written notes about the suspects’ alleged crime.
Duterte’s heated response happened while he was at a news conference, before leaving the Philippines Monday, when he was asked by a reporter what he would do if Obama raised questions about his actions during their international meeting in Laos. Duterte responded by insulting Obama, calling him Putang ina –a Tagalog phrase meaning son of a b*tch.
‘I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I don’t have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions. Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum.’
In response, President Obama said that his planned meeting with Détente IS NOW CANCELED. This is a huge blow to the political clout of the Philippines and is citizens are already outraged that their President would ruin a chance for trade with America. He said that he has seen some of these “colorful” statements from Duterte in the past, and that he is clearly a “colorful guy.”
Obama stated that he has instructed his team to talk to Philippine representatives to make certain that their meeting will still be productive. He also acknowledges the seriousness of the burden that the drug trade plays worldwide, when he said:
‘We recognize the significant burden that the drug trade plays, not just in the Philippines, but around the world. And fighting nautical trafficking is tough, but we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that is consistent with basic international norms.’
Obama says that this issue will ultimately be brought up, if and when they have a meeting, and hopes that these issues can be dealt with constructively. He stresses how important the relationship is between the Philippines and the U.S., and wants to make sure that the timing and setting are right so that they are able to have a civil conversation.
Check out the video below via YouTube:
Featured Image is a screengrab from the video.