PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet in Malacañang on Monday.
In a press conference, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the ongoing crisis in Marawi City and concerns about human rights in the Philippines would be part of the two officials’ meeting at 4 p.m.
“We expect the President to discuss with Secretary Tillerson a wide-range of relevant issues, including the security situation in Marawi, the global threat of terrorism, increasing Philippine-US economic and people-to-people engagement, the Balangiga bells, among others,” Abella told reporters.
“We also welcome the opportunity to address concerns, such as human rights if and when raised. We’ve always included this issue in our discussion and engagements with foreign governments, particularly Western democracies,” he added.
Tillerson arrived in Manila on Saturday to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum.
Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop, who will also participate in Asean meeting, will also pay a courtesy call on the President.
Both the US and Australia are providing assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its efforts to retake Marawi City from Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists.