Obama to Duterte: Observe due process and international norms in the War on Drugs

obama on duterte
US President Obama urged President Duterte to observe due process and international norms in the conduct of the War on Drugs. (Credits: Associated Press)

In his most direct criticism yet of his fellow head of state, United States President Barack Obama has called on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to not disregard due process and international norms in conducting his War on Drugs.

“We recognize the significant burden that the drug trade play not just in the Philippines but around the world and that fighting narco trafficking is tough. But we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that’s consistent with basic international norms,” Obama said during a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in Hangzhou, China Monday night.

Obama was also noticeably noncommittal when asked by a journalist if his bilateral meeting with Duterte during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane, Laos will push through. “What I’ve instructed my team to do is to talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out if this is, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations,” the American president said.

obama on duterte
US President Obama urged President Duterte to observe due process and international norms in the conduct of the War on Drugs. (Credits: Associated Press)

Obama, whose term of office ends by January 2017, expressed apprehensions about dealing with Duterte. “I have seen some of those colorful statements in the past. And so clearly he’s a colorful guy,” he said in a .

“I always want to make sure if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done,” he explained, emphasizing that the United States and the Philippines are treaty allies.

Earlier today, Duterte warned Obama against questioning his approach on the War on Drugs, promising to curse him if and when they have a bilateral meeting. “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 said.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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