President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday revealed that he purposely skipped the summit between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the United States in Vientiane, Laos last week on purpose. Home of GMA News Online listing top breaking Philippine and international headlines, videos and photos encompassing sections of current events, sports, economy and business, science & technology, pinoy abroad, showbiz entertainment, lifestyle, weather, traffic and local region stories.
A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE’
Duterte admits: I skipped ASEAN meeting with US on purpose
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday revealed that he purposely skipped the summit between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the United States in Vientiane, Laos last week on purpose.
“I purposely did not attend the bilateral meeting between the ASEAN and the US. Talagang ini-skip ko iyan. The reason is not that I am anti-West… It is simply a matter of principle,” Duterte said in a speech.
Palace officials told local and foreign reporters that Duterte had missed the meeting because he was not feeling well, with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar saying the president had another migraine attack.
Duterte’s first foreign trip last week was fraught with controversy even before his departure after his expletive-filled rant when asked about the possibility of discussing criticism from human rights groups with US President Barack Obama. That led to the cancellation of a meeting between the two leaders.
Duterte and Obama spoke briefly before the gala dinner of the summit last Wednesday, before the Philippine president skipped the meeting on Thursday.
However, they crossed paths later that day when Duterte veered off his prepared speech at the ASEAN-East Asia Summit to show attendees, including Obama, photos of Filipinos killed during the American occupation in Mindanao.
‘Pinatay ko talaga’
Duterte said that during that speech, he told Obama that he killed the rapists of a teacher in Davao City.
“Pinatay ko talaga… Pity is not one of my virtues,” he said.
Duterte once again showed pictures of slain Filipinos in Monday’s speech.
After Duterte’s address in Laos, Obama had strong words for the administration’s war on drugs urging the Philippine president to conduct it “the right way.”
“It is important from our perspective to make sure that we do it the right way, because the consequences of when you do it the wrong way is innocent people get hurt and you have a whole bunch of unintended consequences that don’t solve the problem.”
Obama was quick to add that the rift with Duterte “has no impact on our broader relationship with the Philippine people, on the wide range of programs and security cooperation that we have with this treaty ally.”
Duterte, meanwhile, launched another volley earlier on Monday, saying he wanted US Special Forces out of Mindanao, after once again showing photos of slain Filipinos.
“Kaya iyong mga Special Forces, they have to go. They have to go. In Mindanao, maraming mga puti roon, they have to go. I-review ko iyang foreign policy. Hindi ko lang masalita noon out of respect or I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” Duterte said in the earlier speech. —JST, GMA News