Obama cancels meeting with Philippines president after being called mean name

Obama cancels meeting with Philippines president after being called mean name
Rodrigo Duterte on the 2016 campaign trail. (Image: Screen grab of video via Rappler, YouTube)

[Ed. – Sticks and stones]

The White House now says President Barack Obama will not meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at a gathering in Laos of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Mr. Obama and Duterte had been scheduled to meet Tuesday on the summit’s sidelines. The Philippine leader has been under intense global scrutiny over the more than 2,000 suspected drug dealers and users killed since he took office, and Mr. Obama has said he planned to raise the issue.

But Duterte said if Mr. Obama questioned him about extrajudicial killings, he would swear at him. Duterte also used the Tagalog phrase for “son of a bitch.”

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price says Obama will meet instead with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea.

Mr. Obama said during a news conference on the last day of the G-20 economic summit in China that he had heard about the comment and instructed his aides to determine whether now was the time to have “constructive, productive conversations” in a face-to-face meeting with Duterte.

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