Despite criticisms on his bloody war on drugs, President Duterte has earned the admiration of the Japanese for being a leader with a genuine and deep love for his country, a Malacañang official said.
Among other things the Japanese admired about the Chief Executive was his being passionate in protecting Filipinos from the drug menace, said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
In a press briefing in Malacañang Friday, Abella recounted his conversation with his Japanese counterpart at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the President’s recent official visit to Japan.
“At the last dinner that was hosted by the Prime Minister, I sat down with our counterpart, the former spokesperson of Prime Minister Abe, and he was saying how the Japanese people had such a warm response for the President,” Abella said.
According to the Palace official, there were two things about the President that stood out for them.
“One was how they perceived how passionate the President was for protecting his people from the menace of drugs,” said Abella. “And secondly, how deeply they perceived the President loved his nation. And how he desired to bring back, to restore the Filipino dignity and how he so much wanted to make sure that the Filipinos were able to sit with the rest of the community of nations as fully equal partners,” he added.
Abella described Duterte’s state visit to Japan as a “very, very successful trip,” citing the warm welcome not only by the Filipino community but also of the Japanese people, as well as its economic gains for the country.
Abella said Duterte’s visit yielded 12 business agreements valued at $1.8 billion. “These are not government contracts but private-to-private joint undertakings,” the official said. (ELENA L. ABEN)