The president revealed this during a speaking engagement at the Malacañang Palace on Monday, GMA News reported.
“I purposely did not attend the bilateral talks between ASEAN countries and the president of the United States,” he said.
“The reason is not I am anti-West. The reason is not I do not like the Americans. It’s simply a matter of principle for me,” he added.
The revelation is contrary to what Palace officials said that he skipped the meetings since he was not feeling well.
Earlier, Duterte made a statement that was taken as him directly cursing Obama after learning that the US president planned on discussing extrajudicial killings in the country.
He then clarified that he did not curse Obama but was too late as their meeting had already been canceled by US officials.