Other male leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) were dressed in business suits at the National Convention Center in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Mr. Duterte rolled his sleeves down and buttoned them in the way the shirt is worn on formal occasions when Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith gave a speech to open the summit.
In a statement earlier read by presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Mr. Duterte expressed “regret” for expletive-laden remarks he made on Monday before he departed Davao City for the summit.
“Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the United States with which we have had a long standing partnership,” he said.
After Washington called off Tuesday’s bilateral meeting between the two leaders, the Philippines issued two statements expressing regret.
“President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would ‘lecture’ him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern,” the Philippine government said in one statement.