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After his series of anti-United States rhetoric, President Duterte is now looking at improved relations with the country’s longtime ally as he expressed optimism that he can get along with United States president-elect Donald J. Trump.
Duterte’s relationship with the US has soured due to criticisms against his bloody war against illegal drugs.
He has repeatedly lashed out at outgoing US president Barack Obama and once told him to “go to hell.”
But following Trump’s election as the 45th president of the US, Duterte appeared to have softened his stance against the US.
“To the President-elect of the US, Donald Trump, congratulations. It was a well-deserved victory and you are the chosen leader of the most powerful country on Earth,” Duterte said.
Duterte also thinks that the relationship between Philippines and the US would improve. “Oh, I’m sure,” he said.
According to Duterte, he has no issues with Trump as he “has not meddled in human rights issues.”
“Wala man kaming away. I can always be a friend to anybody especially to a President, Chief Executive of another country,” he said. “Hindi naman ako sinasaway about my campaign on human rights,” Duterte added, referring to Trump.
Duterte said he trusts judgment on the crackdown on illegal migrants that could affect a large numbers of Filipinos believed to be working illegally in the US.
“I trust in his judgment that he would be fair in the matter of the treatment of illegal immigrants,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ summit in Peru next week.
According to Duterte, he sought a bilateral meeting with the Russian leader. “Matuloy ho. Ako ang nanghingi niyan.
Earlier tonight, I had a long talk with the ambassador (Igor Khovaev) of Russia. I reiterated my desire to meet Putin, bilateral,” said Duterte.
Khovaev made a courtesy call to the President in Malacañang. (Elena L. Aben)