The recent non-scuffle between Obama and Du30 may have been by design.
The US through its myriad of spokespersons have declared that they will bring up with Du30 the issue on human rights and extra-judicial killings in the Philippines’ war on drugs. Du30 has been pretty clear, both verbally and in his body language, that when it comes to the war on drugs, human rights is fair game.
The alternative reality in all of these is that, could it be that Du30 wants to avoid a one-on-one meeting with Obama to avoid having to articulate his defense on the human rights issue on his war on drugs?
Humor me. As mentioned, the US has declared its stand on the human rights issue and that Obama will surely bring it up with our Du30. And Du30 is pretty defensive on this point. With the question posed on him prior to his Laos trip, might he responded the way he did to to discourage Obama ever having to meet with him?
If he is able to evoke a certain amount of hostility on the issue, he might be able to create a scenario where; 1. Obama will avoid discussing it altogether or 2. Obama cancelling the meeting to avoid a confrontation.
As luck would have it, the latter happened. Damage control mode immediately when into high gear. Apologies were said. Result; Du30 momentarily, damaged, reinforced his brash talking reputation but also presented a softer and humbler side by apologising, redemption (or seems to be so).