Obama cancels meeting with Philippines' Duterte after insult

It's not the first time Duterte has cursed at a world leader. In May he insulted Pope Francis calling him a “son of a whore” and later said the same of US Ambassador Philip Goldberg.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

US President Barack Obama speaking during a press conference following the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, and at right, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking during a press conference in Davao City, the Philippines.

Updated Sep 6, 2016

US President Barack Obama cancelled what would have been the first meeting with Rodrigo Duterte, the White House said Monday, after the Philippine leader launched a foul-mouthed tirade against him. 

Duterte called Obama a "son of a whore" hours earlier, vowing he would not allow the American leader to lecture him on human rights.

"President Obama will not be holding a bilateral meeting with President Duterte of the Philippines this afternoon," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said. 

"Instead, he will meet with President Park (Geun-hye) of the Republic of Korea this afternoon."

Duterte, a plain-spoken populist known for his colorful remarks, bristled at warnings he would face questioning by the US president over a war against drugs in the Philippines that has claimed more than 2,400 lives in just over two months.

"You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum," Duterte told a news conference shortly before flying to Laos to attend a summit.

The pair had been due to hold a bilateral meeting late Tuesday on the sidelines of a gathering of global leaders hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane, the Laotian capital.

It's not the first time Duterte has cursed at a world leader. He called Pope Francis a "son of a whore" in May, and called U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg a "gay son of a whore."

On Monday, Obama said he recognized the importance of fighting the drug trade, but insisted it must be done under the rule of law.

TRTWorld and agencies