CLINTON, TRUMP WEIGH IN

Relations with PH ‘rock solid’ – US

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SUITED UP President Rodrigo Duterte (left photo) is seen wearing a suit for the first time, as he attends the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane, Laos on Wednesday. AFP Photo

SUITED UP President Rodrigo Duterte (left photo) is seen wearing a suit for the first time, as he attends the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane, Laos on Wednesday. AFP Photo

THE UNITED States sought to ease tensions brought about by the controversial tirade of President Rodrigo Duterte against US President Barack Obama, with a White House official insisting that relations between Manila and Washington remain “rock solid.”

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, told reporters at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings in Vientiane, Laos that “the nature of our alliance with the Philippines has been and remains rock solid.”

“[P]eople should certainly expect that our very close working relationship with the Philippines is going to be enduring,” he said.

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter echoed this, describing the Philippines-US defense alliance as “strong” and “longstanding.”


Obama called off one-on-one talks with Duterte following the latter’s expletive-laden outburst.

Before leaving for Vientiane on Monday, Duterte was asked by a reporter how he would respond if asked by Obama about the mounting deaths of drug suspects.

Duterte responded that the Philippines is not a US lapdog and it would be disrespectful of Obama to raise the killings during their meeting.

He questioned Obama’s right to challenge him on human rights and called the US President a “son of a whore,” in remarks widely reported by the international press.

Duterte issued a statement expressing regret over the outburst on Tuesday.

US State department spokesman Mark Toner admitted that the US scrapped the meeting because Duterte’s statements raised questions about the chances of a productive discussion.

“Words matter, and we want to see an atmosphere that is cordial and open to strong cooperation,” Toner said in a news conference in Washington.

The Philippines is the US’ oldest Asian partner, and is designated as a major “non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally.”

Clinton, Trump
US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weighed in on the tiff, with the former saying Obama was right to cancel the meeting.

“President Obama made exactly the right choice,” she told reporters in her campaign plane.

“When the President of the Philippines insulted our President, it was appropriate, in a very low-key way, to say: ‘Sorry, no meeting.’ And since then, there’s been an apology and an expression of regret which is appropriate,” she added.

Clinton however acknowledged the need to maintain ties between the two nations.

“We have a lot of ties between the United States and the Philippines. And I think it’s very important that we have a relationship, but there has to be a certain level of respect that is expected on both sides,” said Clinton, who as secretary of State was an architect of Obama’s policy of emphasizing the importance of the Asia-Pacific to US interests in the face of a rising China.

Trump appeared to taunt Obama, whom he had criticized for being weak on foreign policy.

In a tweet, the Republican candidate said the reception that Obama received from the Philippines, as well as China, was “terrible.”

“China wouldn’t provide a red carpet stairway from Air Force One and then Philippines President calls Obama ‘the son of a whore.’ Terrible!” he said.

Boats from the US
In a sign that relations between Manila and Washington have not been affected by Duterte’s outburst, the United States is giving the Philippines two used military aircraft.

The Philippine Coast Guard said Wednesday the vessels would help it expand sea patrols in the face of territorial disputes with China.

The two Sherpa 30-seater aircraft will be delivered in December, coast guard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo told AFP.

“It will help us in the movements of the Philippine Coast Guard like patrol missions,” Balilo added.

Balilo said the Sherpas would help the coast guard augment its meager air patrol capability, now comprised of two old Britten-Norman Islanders.

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7 Comments

  1. US & UN did not really know what’s happening inside PH, they are just shocked by the number of killings brought about by the “war on drugs” campaign by the administration. They already sent their secret envoys and observers just to validate if majority are satisfied with what’s happening. Obviously, Obama was surprised by the reports from his observers or maybe the US ambassador’s assessment because they expected numerous human rights rallies to counter the campaign and some sort of civil chaos, it turn’s out not. As DU30 have said that PH is no longer a US colony and he will answer questions only from his mater the Filipino people would mean the vast majority. He gained 95% trust rating recently which means no one complaints and everyone is satisfied by the peace brought about in the community by eliminating the roots of drug-related crimes. This is the hard fact where Obama came to realized before answering Du30 tirades, when he answered with benevolence and did not utter any words to slam Du30 in return.

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers,New York
    08 September 2016

    Obviously, President Barack Obama does not relish being dubbed a “son of a whore” by anybody, let alone by the President of a country which he knows to be a long-time reliable ally of the United States, which the Philippines is.

    And neither does Hillary Clinton. Or Donald Trump.

    Had it been the top leader of a country other than President Rodrigo Duterte, predictably President Obama conceivably could have retaliated in more serious ways than just cancelling his planned talks with Duterte in Vientiane. Bu Obama realizes that the Philippines is a long-time reliable ally of the United States–and, wisely, he chose a more measured response.

    Duterte being ill-mannered and foul-mouthed is nothing surprising, really. He is uncouth and vulgar and obviously delights in being notorious as such. He delights in wallowing in the gutter where, of course, he gets his mouth full of garbage and excreta.

    Predictably, President Obama refuses to go down that gutter with Duterte. Probably all his life, starting when he was a child, Obama learned good manners and right conduct from his parents, and then in grade school from his teachers.

    Obviously, one cannot say that of “bad guy” Rodrigo Duterte.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugma@gmail.com

  3. Can you imagine if donald trump was the us president & duerte said that about him, The philippines would regret that straight away as im sure Trump would dissolve serious ties with them. He needs to control his mouth, he thinks he is as important as the president of the us, HE ISNT. No matter what you think the Philippines needs the us a lot more than the us needs the Philippines.

  4. Right Ignacio. We are not obliged to report to the US and whoever is in charge of what’s happening to the Philippines’ campaign against all fronts of vices. With the recent elimination of huge numbers of drug addicts and pushers (who are indeed murderers, while high on drugs) plus the weeding out of criminals from snatchers, hold-uppers, robbers, etc., THE WORRY OF THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN LESSENED. Majority of the Filipinos believe in this change except the diehard YELLOW CULTISTS, who until now cannot believe on the changes that’s happening at the moment. They are the bunch of well-to-do families who never experienced walking on the streets at night. Avoiding the experience of being robbed, jewelries snatched, held-up, and more. And their siding with OBAMA, I can only say that their loyalty to the country has been overcome by their Loyalty to a certain figure, a BRIBE-GIVER at that… Proving they, like their idol, ARE AMERICAN BOYS (AmBoys) and AMERICAN GIRLS (AmGirls)….

  5. While we are all aware of the President’s tendency to use crude language, that doesn’t make it right or acceptable. It’s like letting a child have his way because he has gotten used to it or “that’s just the way he is.” As a leader of a nation, there are responsibilities you assume and therefore certain norms that you have to abide by. It’s called decency, sobriety, and diplomacy.

    You can’t expect respect from the international community if you have none to offer them. I’m sure he could’ve handled this a a less provocative and insulting manner. What are the members of this team doing?? I am aware he was elected because of domestic issues and problems primarily….and he has radically changed the face of crime-fighting here…BUT as we are not a self-sufficient island…and we need the cooperation and goodwill of the the rest of the free world, THEN, let us consider the other nations, specially, out closest allies over decades and not sour relations over foul language and inappropriate behaviour, unbecoming of a president.

  6. Ignacio Balbutin on

    The US President was onion skin or more than sensitive. They know already that Pres. Duterte is used in uttering those words without really attaching any meaning to it. It’s just a slur and they cancelled the most important meeting. President Duterte is right, the US should not ask anything about the killings of the criminals. They should understand that those criminals died because they fought it up with the police. Because of what Duterte is doing drug addicts surrendered by tens of thousand. They should praise Duterte of what is happening in the Philippines. We can now walk in the streets without worries of being rob, rape or murdered. Corruption is being eliminated which no other President has ever done. This is the reason why filipinos are behind our President and we will depend Him of any destabilizing effort whether from the opposition or from outside interference