United States President Barack Obama cancelled his scheduled meeting with Philippine's President Rodrigo Duterte, after the Asian ally's foul-mouthed rant against him, said a White House spokesman on Tuesday. The meeting would have been the American leader's first bilateral discussion with the Filipino president.
On August 5, Duterte, who is often called "The Punisher", described Obama in vulgar terms and said that he won't allow the American leader to jeopardise his anti-drug campaign or lecture him on human rights.
According to Reuters, Duterte said, "Plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed we will continue."
When Duterte was asked about his meeting with US President, he said, "I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony."
"Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, America has one too many to answer for. Everybody has a terrible record of extrajudicial killings," he added.
The leaders were scheduled to meet in Laos at a gathering organised by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Obama was informed about the insult after the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, China. The president called off his meeting with Duterte and rescheduled an appointment with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, said Ned Price, spokesman for the White House National Security Council. The leaders are likely to discuss North Korea's latest missile tests.
"I always want to make sure that if I'm having a meeting, that it's actually productive and we're getting something done," Obama told reporters, according to Today Online.
Earlier, Duterte has also launched a verbal attack on the US ambassador to Manila and described him with vulgar names. He vehemently criticised America's interference in his anti-drug campaign and mocked the country about its own track record of police killings.
Almost 2400 suspected drug peddlers and users have already lost their lives in extrajudicial killings since Duterte came to the power after winning the May election by a landslide on a promise to wipe out drugs and dealers.
However, the United Nations has repeatedly condemned the deaths of the suspected drug dealers and users as a violation of human rights.