Duterte skips Apec 'family photo', says didn't want to be seen dozing off

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the APEC Business Advisory Board meeting during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, in Lima, Peru, on Nov 19, 2016.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the APEC Business Advisory Board meeting during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, in Lima, Peru, on Nov 19, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

LIMA, Peru - President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the traditional "family photo" of world leaders attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru on Sunday (Nov 20). His reason? Jet lag.

In an interview before he left Lima, Peru, Mr Duterte said he was too tired and did not want to be seen dozing off beside his fellow leaders.

"I was light-headed because exactly at the time… was my sleeping time back home in the Philippines," he told reporters.

The photo session was held at 3.45am on Sunday (Nov 20), Manila time.

"I really can't help my eyes sometimes. Even as I was listening to others, my eyes would shut. I said I'd rather go home instead."

Mr Duterte was represented by his foreign minister, Mr Perfecto Yasay.

"I wanted (Yasay) to further his acting career," he joked.

Mr Duterte also did not attend the gala dinner on Saturday (Nov 19) hosted by Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

He was not feeling well, according to Communications Minister Martin Andanar.

 

Both occasions would have had him near US President Barack Obama, whom he has called a "son of a whore" for criticising his controversial anti-crime drive.

Mr Duterte did hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and was effusive about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"You know, we have become fast friends. It seemed like we had known each other for so long, and you can see that in way we patted each other's hand," he said.

He said Mr Putin invited him four times to visit Russia, but not soon as it is still winter there.

In jest, he told reporters Mr Putin whispered, "Don't mind America."

Russia's leader also promised to give Mr Duterte a gun when he comes to Moscow.