Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) attends a welcome dinner at the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane on September 6, 2016.
/ AFP / YE AUNG THU
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VIENTIANE, Laos: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defiantly reaffirmed his controversial campaign against drugs Tuesday and called for a redoubling of crime-fighting efforts across Southeast Asia as he prepared to face two prominent critics of his policy: President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Earlier Tuesday, Duterte expressed regret over his "son of a bitch" remark while referring to Obama, in a rare display of contrition by a politician whose wide arc of profanities has unabashedly targeted world figures including the pope.Duterte made the intemperate remarks Monday before flying to Laos. He had been scheduled to meet Obama separately on Tuesday, but the White House canceled the meeting.Duterte's aides are likely to have realized there would be a price to pay for insulting the president of the United States.Duterte has previously cursed Pope Francis and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Duterte proclaimed early in his presidency that he would pursue a foreign policy not dependent on the United States.Former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, under whose watch U.S.-Philippine relations blossomed, expressed disappointment over the canceled meeting with Obama.
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