- Pres. Duterte revealed he skipped the ASEAN-US Summit intentionally
- He said it’s a matter of principle for him
- It was previously reported that his absence was because he suffered from a migraine
Previously, it was reported that President Rodrigo Duterte absence during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-United States (U.S.) Summit in Laos last Thursday morning, September 8, was because he suffered from a migraine. However, on Monday, September 12, the president himself revealed that he ‘purposely skipped’ the meeting.
In a speech in Malacañang, Pres. Duterte said he intentionally did not attend the bilateral talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and other ASEAN countries as a “matter of principle.”
ABS-CBN News quoted him as saying: “I did attend, but I purposely did not attend the bilateral talks between ASEAN countries and the ambassador of, the President of the United States. Talagang ini-skip ko ‘yun (I intentionally skipped that). I attended all others. ‘Yung kay (Russian President Vladimir) Putin (sic), may one-on-one ako (I have a one-on-one), and the ASEAN and also the Chinese, I was there. The reason is not I am anti-West. The reason is that I do not like the Americans. It’s simply a matter of principle for me.”
Pres. Duterte also missed the ASEAN-United Nations meeting last Wednesday, September 7, due to a conflict in schedule.
According to an article by the Philippine Star, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the ASEAN-UN event coincided with Duterte’s courtesy call on Laos President Bounnhang Vorachith.
He emphasized that the president’s absence was because he wanted to avoid the dialogue with the UN, which has raised concerns over the spate of drug-related killings in the Philippines these past months.
President Duterte made it to the headlines of local and international media after his controversial response during the pre-departure press briefing when he was asked about how he would deal with questions specifically coming from the US president regarding human rights and extra-judicial killing, which resulted to the cancellation of his bilateral meeting with Pres. Barack Obama
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Charles Jose confirmed that the two world leaders had a short chat while they were in a holding room on Wednesday night, September 7, before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gala dinner.