• Pres. Rodrigo Duterte says he purposely skipped the summit between ASEAN with the United States in Laos last week
  • He said he did it as a matter of principle and not because he is an anti-West
  • He also said on a separate occasion he wanted US Forces out of Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte purposely skipped the summit between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the United States in Vientiane, Laos last week.

As revealed by no-less than the Chief Executive himself, he did it not because he is an anti-West but simply as a matter of principle, an article written by  Trisha Macas on GMA News Online mentioned.

Earlier, Palace officials said that the President had missed the meeting because he was not feeling well, with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar saying the president had another migraine attack.

Pres. Duterte’s first foreign trip was fraught with controversy even before his departure after answering a query when asked about the possibility of discussing criticism from human rights groups with US President Barack Obama. The incident led to the cancellation of a meeting between the two leaders.

Before the President skipped the meeting on September 8, he and Pres. Obama had an opportunity to speak briefly before the gala dinner of the summit.

When the two leaders crossed paths later that day 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.

In his speech, Duterte admitted to Obama that he killed the rapists of a teacher in Davao City further stating that pity is not one of his virtues.

As such, Obama had strong words for the administration’s war on drugs urging Duterte to do it “the right way.”

Meanwhile, Duterte seemingly attacked the US after saying he wanted US Forces out of Mindanao.

“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 was quoted saying.

[The Special Forces, they have to go. There are a lot of ‘whites’ there. I wasn’t able to say then out of respect.]