Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama made the appropriate decision in not meeting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
“With respect to the Philippines, President Obama made exactly the right choice,” said Clinton as she was flying to Florida to campaign. “When you meet with anyone, ally or adversary, you come in with a list of issues that are important to be raised. You determine what they are.”
“On the other side, they determine what they want to raise. And clearly the president was going to raise concerns that are global, about what is going on in the Philippines with extrajudicial killings of alleged drug dealers, that is now somewhere up near 2,000 killings.”
Clinton, who as secretary of state was an architect of Obama’s policy of emphasizing the importance of the Asia Pacific to US interests in the face of a rising China, explained that when the president of the Philippines insulted Obama, it was appropriate and a very low key way to say: “Sorry, no meeting.”
“And since then there’s been an apology and an expression of regret, which is appropriate,” she added. “We have a lot of ties between the United States and the Philippines. And I think it’s very important that we have a relationship, but there has to be a certain level of respect that is expected on both sides.”
Meanwhile, Republican candidate Donald Trump took to Twitter to comment on matter, while also referencing a row between White House and Chinese officials as Obama landed in Hangzhou for the G20 summit:
China wouldn't provide a red carpet stairway from Air Force One and then Philippines President calls Obama "the son of a whore." Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2016
Obama called off the meeting hours after Duterte launched a tirade against him, at one point calling him a son of a whore, at a pre-departure press conference Monday. Duterte said the US leader has no right to lecture him on human rights in relation to his unrelenting war on illegal drugs. — Reuters