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Obama cancels meeting with Philippine president after his 'son of a whore' comment

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:47 IST

U.S president Barack Obama cancelled a meeting with the Philippines scheduled for 6 September, after the president of the country, Rodrigo Duterte called Obama "son of a whore".

Duterte had threatened to curse out the U.S. president Obama if he raised the issue of extrajudicial killings by Philippine authorities in a sweeping crackdown on drug trafficking, reports an international news agency.

According to The Washington Post, Duterte said, "I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. 'Putang ina' I will swear at you in that forum." which is the Tagalog phrase for "son of a bitch" or "son of a whore."

When asked to respond during a news conference after the Group of 20 Summit in China, Obama said that he had been told of Duterte's comments, but the U.S. president shrugged it off as another in a line of "colorful statements" from Duterte.

"Clearly, he's a colorful guy," Obama said. The president added that he had asked his staff to speak with their Philippine counterparts to "make sure if I'm having a meeting, it's productive and we're getting something done." Obama called the Philippines a close "friend and ally" of the United States, reports The Washington Post.

Later, Ned Price, a spokesman for the U.S's National Security Council, announced that the meeting with Duterte had been canceled and that Obama would instead meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

According to reprts, more than 2,000 suspected drug dealers have been killed since Duterte took office, and Obama earlier said he would not shy away from the topic of "international norms" when it comes to due process rights when speaking with Duterte.

"We recognize the significant burden the drug trade plays in the Philippines and around the world" but "we will always assert the need to have due process and engage the fight against drugs in a way that is consistent with basic international norms. Undoubtedly, if and when we have a meeting, this is going to be something that's brought up. My expectation, my hope, is that it could be dealt with constructively," Obama was quoted saying.

First published: 6 September 2016, 8:19 IST
 
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