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Rodrigo Duterte's slur against Barack Obama hurting Philippines?
I'd officially visited Philippines in the year 2004 and based on my personal experience I've no hesitation in declaring that Filipinos are the most polite, hospitable and humble people upon earth. I've never heard anywhere the genuine music of "Yes Sir" and "Thank You Sir" in my life that did sound so natural and would also make me uneasy to my roots. But that is not the topic of this article.

Worn out of the frequent diatribes of Indian leaders in general and fringe elements of BJP/RSS in particular, I was looking for some comic relief across the global canvas. I got one unfortunate contretemps and I'm shocked and surprised by the reaction of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte who bristled at warning - "he would face questioning by Mr Obama over a war against drugs in the Philippines."

It has claimed more than 2,400 lives in just over two months so far. It is believed that about 900 of those killed died in police operations, and the rest were "deaths under investigation", a term human rights activists say is a euphemism for vigilante and extra judicial killings.

Mr Duterte had made an audacious statement that he would not be lectured on human rights by Mr Obama. He declared: "Who is he to confront me? You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum," Mr Duterte had told this at a news conference shortly before flying to Laos.

"We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me."

As expected, Mr. Obama had cancelled the talks in response to the comments. He had asked his team to find out if "constructive, productive conversations" were possible. President Obama said on Monday that he had been told of Duterte's obscene comment, but he shrugged it off as a line of "colorful statements" from Duterte. "Clearly, he's a colorful guy," President Obama said during a news conference after the Group of 20 summit in China.

However, maintaining the high traditions of international relation and diplomacy, President Obama accorded a meeting to the foul mouth leader of Philippines. There was a brief encounter that took place just before a dinner during a summit of regional leaders in Laos this Wednesday.

"They met at the holding room and they were the last people to leave the holding room. I can't say how long they met," Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, travelling with Duterte, told reporters shortly afterwards. "I'm very happy that it happened."

In a terse statement, the White House said only that "Obama had a brief discussion with President Duterte before the ASEAN Gala Dinner in the leaders' hold space. The exchange consisted of pleasantries between the two."

The media from all over the world, including from the Philippines awaited the event where the two leaders would possibly say something positive.

The unwarranted comment of Philippine leader did cause damage that for a poor developing country like Philippines was least desirable. Most of the Filipinos consider America as their great benefactor. Philippine had so much of American presence on their soil after the Second World War that it was considered as province of the USA.

As the immediate impact of Duterte's slur, inside the country, the Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 1.3 per cent to 7,619.10 in its biggest decline in five weeks. The gauge has dropped 6 per cent from a 15-month high on 21 July, paring its gain this year to 9.6 per cent.

The foreign investment began to deplete as the foreigners were pulling money from Asia's most expensive market, amid speculation that the outbursts of the President seriously hurt the investor sentiment.

"The latest incident raises concern that President Duterte's unpredictable behavior in politics will be disruptive and could eventually spill into economics and business," said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank, the Philippines' biggest lender.

A few words about RD - On May 9, 2016, Rodrigo Duterte had won the presidential election and his domestic policy has focused on combating 'illegal drug trade' by initiating a 'nationwide drug war.'

His brutal actions were criticized in UNO. As a reaction he had threatened to withdraw the Philippines from the UN. He had once claimed publicly to have shot a fellow student while in law school for allegedly bullying him because of his Visayan origins.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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