President Duterte has congratulated Republican businessman Donald Trump on his victory in the US presidential elections, saying he looks forward to improved ties between the Philippines and the United States.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wishes to extend his warm congratulations to Mr. Donald Trump on his recent electoral victory as President of the United States of America,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.
“President Duterte wishes President-elect Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in chief of the U.S. military,” he added.
Andanar said Duterte looks forward to working with the Trump administration “for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law.”
Trump has stunned the world after defeating his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a bitterly contested presidential elections. Clinton has reportedly called Trump to concede the elections.
Andanar recognized the US presidential elections as a testament to the enduring tradition of its democratic system and American way of life. “The two-party system gives American voters freedom of choice based on party platforms, not just on personalities,” he added.
Relations between the Philippines and the United States have been strained since President Duterte launched verbal attacks on the longtime ally for criticizing his deadly anti-drug campaign. (GENALYN KABILING)