What caused Obama-Duterte row

Aaron Lozada, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2016 04:13 AM

MANILA - For political analyst Richard Heydarian, the diplomatic flap that scuttled the planned bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and U.S. President Barack Obama in Laos was a simple case of misunderstanding.

The De La Salle University political science professor, in an interview on ABS-CBN's "Bandila" Tuesday night, also said Duterte must learn to control his language. 

The President's team, on the other hand, can help by focusing on talking points with other countries, Heydarian said.

"The first rule in diplomacy is bawal ang expletives. Lahat naman ng leaders masakit din ang ulo, hindi lang naman siya ang stressed. Si Obama at mga ibang leaders marami silang problema pero you never use expletives kaya ingat ka doon sa lenggwahe. Pangalawa, obviously kung personal relationship or state to state relationship, parati naman may differences and it is legitimate. You can have differences even doon sa pinaka-intimate bilateral relationship but you keep it privately. Dapat 'yan actually dapat one-on-one talk 'yan sa paglabas ng kanilang frustration. You don't essentially show your dirty laundry," Heydarian said.

(The first rule of is diplomacy is to avoid the use of expletives. All leaders have their fair share of stress. Obama and other world leaders have problems as well but you won't hear them use expletives, that's why one must be careful about language. Secondly, there are obviously differences, may it be personal relationship or state-to-state relationship, and these differences are legitimate. However, these world leaders must keep their differences to themselves. You don't essentially show your dirty laundry.)

Meanwhile, Heydarian also said the U.S. should have been clear with its agenda, adding that the issue of human rights remains sensitive for Duterte.

"Of course, doon sa pananaw ng United States, kailangan pag-usapan ang issue ng human rights. Of course, kaalyado tayo. Concern naman sa part ni Pangulong Duterte ay get your own house in order. Kayo nga sa US, ang dami niyong human rights problem sa African-Americans, so wag niyo kami i-lecture. Ayusin niyo muna yung sarili niyong bansa," Heydarian explained.

(Of course, in the United States' point of view, there is a need to talk about human rights since the Philippines is an ally. However, President Duterte's concern is to get your own house in order first. The US faces human rights problems with how they deal with the Afrinca-Americans. Hence, for Duterte, US should not lecture the Philippines on human rights. They should get their house in order first.)

Heydarian also pointed out that aside from human rights issues, the Philippines and the United States should focus on other equally important issues, such as bilateral trade, security and counter-terrorism efforts.