By Roy Ramos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte did not go to last week’s prestigious G20 summit in Hamburg as he was not invited, despite his chairing an important regional bloc, officials in Germany and the Philippines have confirmed.
Tradition holds that the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) attend the G20 summit due to the region’s growing economic significance, and Duterte is the current chair.
In a chance interview by ABS-CBN News Tuesday, Philippines presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella confirmed that Duterte had not received any formal invitation from the German government, this year’s G20 summit host.
The lack of an invitation was also confirmed by the German government.
"The Philippines did not belong to the invited guest countries," the Press and Information Office of the German Federal Government was quoted as saying by Rappler, a Philippine-based online news portal.
The G20 countries account for more than four-fifths of gross world product and three-quarters of global trade, and are home to almost two-thirds of the world's population.
Abella said that although it is the G20’s prerogative who to invite, the Philippines leader did not lobby for an invitation, unlike other countries.
Abella expressed confidence that Duterte’s “style” of running the Philippines on its own rather than seeking approval from other countries is working excellently, as seen in its growing economy.
Duterte has blasted the EU’s criticisms of human rights violations as a result of the country’s intensive drug war.
Duterte has also rejected EU aid, saying it could let the EU interfere with the country’s internal affairs.