Duterte to speak with Trump over phone

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is expected to phone United States President-elect Donald Trump on Friday night to congratulate the Republican billionaire on his election victory, Malacañang said.

In a news conference, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag confirmed the scheduled phone call at 10:30 pm on Friday, Manila time.

Banaag declined to give further details of what would be discussed by the two leaders.

Duterte earlier issued a congratulatory message to Trump, shortly after the latter won the US presidential election in a bitter contest with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

In his message, Duterte expressed hope there would be an “enhanced ties” between the Philippines and the US following Trump’s victory.

Duterte had repeatedly slammed the US for questioning his war on drugs, which has killed hundreds of drug suspects.

Duterte is scheduled to meet former Ilocos Sur governor Luis Singson and Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim on Friday afternoon in Davao City. He will then have a closed-door meeting with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

Businessman Tomas Alcantara of the Alsons Group and winners of Miss Asia Pacific International 2016 will also visit the President.

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