Obama Cancels Meeting With Philippine President After Being Called 'Son of a Bitch'

President Barack Obama walks through an honor guard upon arrival on Air Force One at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos, on Sept. 5, 2016, as Obama makes the first visit to the country by a sitting U.S. president.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama canceled a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after Duterte called him a "son of a bitch," Reuters reports.

According to CNN, the White House had said that Obama planned to ask Duterte about his country's handling of drug dealers, which has included a wave of extrajudicial killings.


Duterte slammed Obama on the subject, declaring that he was "no American puppet."

"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 in a speech Monday. "Son of a bitch, I will swear at you."

The two leaders were meant to meet in Laos on Tuesday. After Duterte's remarks, Obama instead made plans to meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Reuters reports, during which the response to North Korea's latest missile tests was expected to be part of discussions.

After the bilateral meeting with Duterte was called off, the Philippine government issued two statements expressing regret for the comments, Reuters reports.


“President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would ‘lecture’ him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which, in turn, elicited concern,” the government said in one statement.

“He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy,” the statement continued. “He expressed his deep regard and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between our nations.”


As Reuters notes, it is not Duterte's first time using colorful language when describing a world leader. In May he called Pope Francis a "son of a whore" and called U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg a "gay son of a whore."

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