President Obama canceled a meeting with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday after the President of the Phillipines cursed out President Obama.
“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,” Duterte said of Obama’s intention to confront him over the country’s drug problem and his response to it.
“Son of a b***h, I will swear at you,” the President said. Other outlets have translated the word as “w***e.”
After hearing about Duterte’s comments while in China, President Obama said, “But I have seen some of those colorful statements in the past, and so, clearly, he’s a colorful guy.”
“I always want to make sure that if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done,” President Obama said to reporters about his scheduled meeting with the Duterte.
Later though, the White House announced that Obama would not meet with Duterte and would instead meet with the President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye.
Duterte is relatively new to the world stage having been elected in May. His signature policy is a tough crackdown on drug dealers.
“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun — you have my support,” he said in June.
“Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”
Those policies have earned him the ire of the international community and President Obama. President Obama had intended to question Duterte about the program which sparked Duterte’s anger and his remark.
The leaders are in Laos for a meeting of Southwestern Asian leaders.