Obama casts doubt on meeting Duterte after latter's tirade against him

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defends his drug war and lashes out at US President Barack Obama, calling him a 'son of a whore' in Filipino.
US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference following the conclusion of the G20 summit on Sept 5, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

HANGZHOU, China (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Monday (Sept 5) called a planned meeting with Mr Rodrigo Duterte into question after the Philippine leader launched a foul-mouthed tirade against him.

Mr Duterte called Mr Obama "son of a w****" on Monday as he vowed not to be lectured by the US leader on human rights when they meet in Laos on the sidelines of a regional summit.

"He's a colourful guy," Mr Obama joked on the eve of the scheduled face-to-face meeting, before pointedly noting: "I always want to make sure if I'm having a meeting that it's actually productive."

The acid-tongued Mr Duterte bristled at warnings that he would face questioning by the US president over a crime war 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 w****, I will curse you in that forum," he told a news conference shortly before flying to Laos to attend the summit.

"We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me," he said.

Mr Duterte is due to hold a bilateral meeting with Mr Obama on Tuesday on the sidelines of a summit of global leaders hosted by the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) in Vientiane, the Lao capital.

Mr Duterte was elected in May after a promise to wage an unprecedented war on illegal drugs that would see tens of thousands of suspects killed. Official figures released on Sunday show that since he took office on June 30, over 2,400 people have been killed in police anti-drug operations and by suspected vigilantes.

Mr Duterte has angrily rejected criticism from the Catholic Church, human rights groups, legislators and the United Nations.

He vowed on Monday that the bloodbath would continue as he pursued his goal of eradicating illegal drugs in the Philippines.

"More people will be killed, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue and I will continue," he said.

Mr Duterte insisted he would not take orders from the United States, a former colonial ruler of the Philippines, and did not care about how he was perceived.

"I don't give a shit about anybody observing my behaviour," he said.

Mr Duterte also used vulgar language to accuse his domestic critics of wanting to please the United States.

"There are others who have the mental capacity of dogs who lap at the ass of the Americans," he said in reference to his critics.

Mr Duterte is notorious for using offensive language. During the election campaign, he described the US ambassador to Manila as a "son of a w****" and being homosexual. This was in response to the ambassador's criticism of him for making a joke about wanting to rape a "beautiful" Australian missionary who was killed in a Filipino jail.

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