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President Duterte has pledged to keep the country’s friendly relations with the United States “as is” under President-elect Donald Trump, citing they both share the passion to serve the people.
“We are friends with (the United States), an ally,” the President said in a press conference in Davao City when asked about the country’s ties with the US under the new Trump administration.
“We have an RP-US military pact that was 1954, I think, vintage. That would bind us in the matter of saying whether or not you side with this or that,” Duterte added.
The President said the country would honor existing cooperation agreements with the United States, adding it does not foresee “any war in the next 100 years.”
“We will maintain our cooperation. The respect should be there and in all matters that would affect our two countries, especially the treaties that we signed, with them, in the so many agreements. It will be honored, all of these things,” he said.
The President earlier tried to bury the hatchet with the United States after Trump’s stunning victory against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the bitter race for the White House. Duterte congratulated Trump on his election and looked forward to enhanced relations between the two countries.
The President, however, tried to downplay the comparison between him and Trump, saying he was just a “small molecule in this planet” compared to the leader of the world’s most powerful country.
“I am just a President struggling to barely (keeping head) just above the water,” Duterte said. “But what we share in common, maybe, is the passion to serve and it is a given,” he added.
He said public servants are expected “to push more for the country” even though they get “tired” and “despondent” at times.
Many groups have observed the striking similarities between Duterte and Trump as both tough-talking leaders won the presidency on anti-establishment platform. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)