An insulted Duterte then lashed out against the Australian government for supposedly interfering in the national elections.
“Stay out, Australian government, stay out,” he had said.
After Malacañang announced President Rodrigo Duterte will skip a major regional summit in Australia, the Australian embassy in the Philippines is expecting a phone call between the Philippine leader and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Rappler learned this from a source after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement on Monday, March 5.
The exact time and date of the conversation between the two leaders are still being finalized, said the same source.
Duterte, according to another source, was the last of the 10 Southeast Asian leaders to confirm whether or not they will be attending the gathering, meant to celebrate 14 years of ties between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia.
The embassy thought of several ways to convince Duterte to attend the summit, even wondering if former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo could serve as a bridge.
In one diplomatic meeting, it was suggested that Arroyo bring up the Australian summit with the hotheaded Duterte since he listens to her on matters pertaining to security and diplomacy.