JAKARTA—Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Friday called President Rodrigo Duterte’s debut on the global stage “brilliant” despite sparking a diplomatic storm by calling US President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch,” which dominated the buzz at this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Laos.
“He was brilliant and superb, and on a scale of 1 to 10… I give him a high score of 8.5,” Yasay told reporters.
Yasay said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long were among Mr. Duterte’s admirers.
“They were impressed with his performance, what he said, his insights and diplomatic decorum, and his ability to understand what was happening around the world,” Yasay said.
He said Mr. Duterte was “able to express and articulate the concerns we wanted to raise, particularly our efforts in the fight against illegal drugs and the steps we have taken consistent with the Constitution, rule of law and upholding human rights” in the prosecution of suspects and the rehabilitation of users. TVJ