MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte appeared a "bit unkempt" during his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Wednesday, a foreign journalist said.
Duterte wore a loose tie and an open collar as seen in photos released by Malacañang.
Czech journalist Pavel Vondra posted a photo of the 2 leaders' meeting on Twitter along with some comments from Russians.
"Rodrigo #Duterte showed up a bit unkempt for the meeting with the Russian PM Medvedev in Moscow and the Russian internet is having a blast: "Did he drink all night?", "Did he just leave the pub?", "Do Filipinos know what a (state visit) protocol is?" people ask," Vondra said in a tweet.
Some Filipino netizens also criticized Duterte's look.
"Guy always looks like someone forced him out of bed," one tweet read.
The Philippine leader has been known to dress casually, even rolling up his sleeves during formal events.
Malacañang on Thursday dismissed criticism of Duterte's look, saying he loosened his tie because he feels "suffocated."
"PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) does not look unkempt. What those kibitzers refer to is the way he wore his tie. He loosened it up. He feels suffocated and very uncomfortable if the tie is tightly in place in the collar," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo also clarified that Duterte meant no disrespect towards Medvedev.
"PRRD dresses up for comfort, he is not particular on unsettling other people," he said, noting that Duterte is "very hygienic."
"His body emits a refreshing scent as observed by people who meet up close to him," he added.
Duterte is in Russia anew upon the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.