(UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay represented the Philippines instead in the ASEAN-UN Summit Wednesday evening.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was also absent from the meeting.
In his opening statement, Ban encouraged ASEAN leaders uphold human rights in all aspects of cooperation between the UN and ASEAN. He also called for the strengthening of the ASEAN-UN partnership "for the good of this region and the world."
"I would also like to encourage leaders to work for equality, inclusivity and accountability in you governments and societies. We must now explore ways to mention human rights across all areas of the ASEAN-UN partnership," Ban also said.
Duterte will see Ban and U.S. President Barack Obama at the gala dinner, where he will be seated in between the two leaders.
How Duterte would interact with Ban is also being awaited as the the Philippine president once criticized the UN chief for calling him out over the rising cases of extra-judicial killings in the country.
[READ: UN chief slams Duterte 'endorsement' of killings ]
Over 1,300 people have been killed in the Duterte administration's war on drugs, with 60% of the fatalities during police operations, according to monitoring by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
Duterte also turned down a meeting with Ban on the sidelines of the summit. His office said he could not fit the meeting into his schedule.