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

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

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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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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