Obama to meet Philippines' Duterte, broach human rights

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a National Heroes Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) in Taguig city, Metro Manila in the Philippines August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept. 6, and plans to touch on human rights as well as security concerns, the White House said on Monday.

“We absolutely expect that the president will raise concerns about some of the recent statements from the president of the Philippines,” White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told a media briefing when asked whether inflammatory remarks by Duterte about women, journalists and others would be a topic of discussion.

Rhodes said, however, that there were important security issues to cover as well, particularly tensions over navigation in the South China Sea. China has been incensed by a ruling against its claims in the South China Sea by an international court, a case initiated by Manila.

The expected meeting between Obama and Duterte would take place in Laos, where the two leaders will be attending a summit of leaders from Pacific Rim nations.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrew Hay