It is the last of 10 trips Mr Obama paid as president to Asia, where Mr Obama lived as a youngster with his mother in Indonesia.
The two did end up shaking hands during a brief interaction on the summit’s sidelines.
Duterte blamed the media for distorting his words, saying he did utter “son of a bitch” but it was not directed at Obama.
The Filipino media had earlier speculated that the President’s absence was because his daughter, who was pregnant with triplets and had to undergo an unwanted abortion. “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy”, Duterte said in a news conference in Davao City, reports the Global Times.
When asked if he cared to defend his legacy, Obama said of Trump: “I don’t think the guy’s qualified to be president of the United States”.
“We share the deep concern over trade in illicit and illegal drugs and its impact on our society”, the two leaders said in a joint statement at the Istana Merdeka or presidential palace in Jakarta on Friday.
His outburst was prompted by USA assertions that Obama planned to raise the issue of Duterte’s war on crime that has claimed 3,000 lives in just over two months.
The meeting was subsequently called off by the White House.
JAKARTA ― Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told Barack Obama he never called him a “son of a bitch”, he said on Friday, but he maintained a defiant stance on his war on drugs, saying United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon was a fool for bringing up human rights. You must be respectful.
He said he had told the USA leader, “I never made that statement”.
The Philippines’ leader met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and they reportedly discussed the issue of sea piracy that is prevalent in the South China Sea. Do not just throw questions.
Asked by reporters about a vulgar remark about Obama made by Duterte at the G20 summit this week, Obama said he did not take “these comments personally”.
“I think it’s just a habit, a way of speaking for him”, Obama concluded.
Setting aside a prepared speech, Mr. Duterte spoke for more than five minutes about human rights and his campaign against drugs during the summit in the Lao capital of Vientiane, according to one Indonesian diplomat at the meeting.