Obama shrugs off Duterte’s tirades against him
United States President Barack Obama on Thursday (Manila time) shrugged off the tirades launched against him by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I don’t take these comments personally because it seems the phrase is used repeatedly including [the one] directed at the Pope. It seems to be just a habit, a way of speaking for him,” Obama said in a televised press conference at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Vientiene, Laos.
Obama said he met briefly with Duterte on Wednesday night.
“I did shake hands with President Duterte last night,” Obama said.
“It was not a long interaction,” he added.
“What I indicated to him is that my team should be meeting with his and determine how we can move forward on a whole range of issues.”
Obama said he is willing to partner with the Philippines on addressing the drug problem in the country.
“We want to partner with the Philippines on the particular issue of narco-traffickers, which is a serious problem in the Philippines, a serious problem in the United States and around the world,” he said.
But the US President said the fight against illegal drugs must be consistent with the rule of law.
“On that narrow issue, we do want to make sure that the partnership we have is consistent with international norms and rule of law,” he said. TVJ
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