Watch CBS News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte finally meets his idol: Vladimir Putin

LIMA, Peru - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lambasted the United States and other Western nations as bullies and hypocrites, while he praised Russia as a “great country” in his first meeting with his acknowledged idol, Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Talking on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Peru, Duterte also continued a recent vitriolic anti-U.S. theme of his and gave Putin a scathing review of America’s military endeavors in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Korean peninsula. He said the United States has given unequal treatment of the Philippines as a treaty ally and added that his country wants to engage more with Europe.

Philippines president wants U.S. troops out 00:51

Duterte told Putin that he previously has been identified with the Western world. But, he added: “Of late, I see a lot of these Western nations bullying small nations. And not only that, they are into so much hypocrisy.”

An obviously elated Putin congratulated Duterte. He called the May 9 election that Duterte won “indeed a very bright day,” noting it came on the Russian holiday marking victory over Nazi Germany.

Putin said the Philippine leader has done much quickly in “developing the all-round partnership between our countries and with respect to promoting greater trust and confidence between us.”

Earlier, Duterte promised his Chinese counterpart that he will align his foreign policy toward China-led Asian economic development, further reinforcing his shift toward China amid his hostile stance toward the U.S.

Duterte also met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC. 

Duterte first met Xi in a state visit to Beijing last month, where their governments forged mostly trade and economic accords. They also discussed longstanding territorial disputes in the South China Sea. After his China trip, Filipinos were allowed back to fish in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which Chinese coast guard vessels have guarded since seizing the rich fishing area in 2012.

In their meeting in Lima, Duterte told Xi that “we will cooperate with you.”

He added: “With my thrust of an independent foreign policy, we will find ourselves mutually agreeing in so many things and align our foreign policy towards the development of Asia, strengthening of ties among the countries in the region, with China leading the way in the economic development.”

Before he left for APEC, Duterte said Thursday he might follow Russia’s example and withdraw from the International Criminal Court, where his critics say he could be charged over the thousands killed in his war on drugs.

In a statement before flying to Peru to attend the annual summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, Duterte also said the United Nations has been inutile in stopping wars. He said if China and Russia decide to create a new world order, he would be the first to join them and leave the U.N., which he said is dominated by the U.S.

“You know, if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I would be the first to join,” he said, adding that he would quit the U.N. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.