President Rodrigo R. Duterte declined a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Kimoon because of “scheduling incompatibility."

The UN and the Philippine government confirmed this on Thursday. 

Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that they requested the bilateral meeting in Laos, which is hosting a summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders next week.

Duterte turns down UN chief’s meeting
Photo by ABS-CBN News
But, the Duterte’s camp said they could not fit the request into the President’s hectic schedule.

It can be recalled that in Duterte’s previous press conference last month in Davao City, he threatened to quit the body over criticism of his war on drugs saying UN should adhere to international relations protocols.

But he then admitted days after that he was just joking and just expressing his extreme disappointment to the international body.

Last week, two U.N. human rights experts urged Manila to stop a wave of extra-judicial executions and killings linked to the present administration’s intensified war against illegal drugs.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella declined to comment on why Duterte turned down the UN chief meeting.

"The President has his own reasons for not meeting up with some leaders. This is no reason to speculate about the Philippines' relationship with the community of nations," Abella said.

Department of Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay, said the Philippines has remained committed to the United Nations and would not be leaving despite issues.

Meanwhile, the country is set to take over the rotating chair of ASEAN from Laos in 2017. AJRSP

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