• Trump invites Duterte to White House

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    States President Donald Trump invited President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House in a phone call late Saturday wherein the two leaders discussed security concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the threat posed by North Korea and the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

    POWER CALL President Rodrigo Duterte talks to US President Donald Trump. Holding the phone is the president’s assistant Christopher Lawrence Go. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Duterte’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said the phone conversation was “warm,” while a statement released by the White House said the discussion “was friendly.”

    “The ambit of the conversation between the two leaders includes the expression of commitment of US President Trump to the PH-US alliance and his interest in developing a warm, working relationship with President Duterte,” Abella said in a statement.

    “The discussion that transpired between the presidents was warm, with President Trump expressing his understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing the Philippine President, especially on the matter of dangerous drugs,” he added.

    The White House statement released by the Office of Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Trump’s invitation and disclosed that the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Asean on regional security, the tensions raised by North Korea, and Duterte’s war on drugs.

    “They discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world. President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the US-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction,” the statement said.

    The Palace and the White House did not say when the visit would take place.

    “President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the US-Asean Summit,” the White House said.

    The 31st Asean Summit and Related Meetings will be held from November 10 to 14 in Clark Field, Pampanga.
    Vice President Mike Pence last week confirmed that Trump will attend the Asean meetings as a sign of “unwavering commitment” to the region.

    Abella said the two leaders are determined to strengthen the alliance between the Philippines and the US. The two countries signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in 1952.

    Immediately after leaders of Asean concluded their summit in Manila on Saturday, Duterte said that he will urge Trump to exercise prudence in dealing with North Korea.

    “Who am I to say you should stop but I would just say Mr. President please see to it that there’s no war because my region will suffer immensely,” Duterte said. “Everybody is worried.”

    Trump has warned that the US will act unilaterally against North Korea if China fails to curb its neighbor’s activities.

    “We have to caution everybody including those who’d give the advice to the two players because you have nuclear warheads to just show restraint,” Duterte said. “One miscalculation of a missile, whether or not a nuclear warhead or an ordinary bomb, one explosion there that would hit somebody would cause a catastrophe.”

    Duterte has faced international condemnation because of his brutal campaign against illegal drugs, which has claimed thousands of lives. Last week, a case was filed against him and several members of his Cabinet at the International Criminal Court for alleged mass murder.

    The President has lambasted the US for its “perceived hypocrisy” over human rights. Last year, he called former President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” for criticizing the drug war. He took a conciliatory tone when Trump was elected to office.

    Duterte’s pledge to stop the country turning into a narco-state has proved wildly popular with millions of Filipinos looking for a quick solution to crime and corruption.

    Over the weekend, some Southeast Asian leaders attending a regional summit in Manila also expressed support for the drug war, including Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo.

    With AFP

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    8 Comments

    1. Ramil Lopez on

      In the first 9 months of Duterte several things have been accomplished – a couple of dozen big time illegal, destructive mining companies were suspended, universal health care for all Filipino citizens is in place as is free tuition in all state colleges and universities, small scale farmers have been given farm tractors and threshers and quick access to credit, small scale fishermen have been given fishing boats and cold storage facilities, Filipino fishermen can now fish at Scarborough Shoal as a result of the warmer relations with China, the US has been unable to dictate to the Philippine leadership to work for the US interests instead of Filipinos’ interests, 1.1 million drug pushers and addicts have surrendered, dozens of shabu meth labs have been closed throughout the country, 9 narco generals have been sacked, the biggest narco politician – Leila De Lima is in jail, relief goods have been distributed swiftly to towns and cities affected by natural calamities, several infrastructure projects have been completed and more have been started, several hectares of farmland stolen by the filthy rich including the Cojuancos and Aquinos have been distributed to farmers, hundreds of OFWs in distress have been assisted and repatriated to the Philippines, corruption has been reduced to a level where people can actually do transactions with government offices and expect service within days instead of months, SSS retirees pensions have been increased, salaries and allowances of soldiers and policemen have been increased, crooked policemen including those involved in drugs and terrorism have been arrested, the MRT metro rail system is running on schedule with better facilities and much shorter lineups, Baclaran and Divisoria have been cleaned up, the Manila International Airport bullet planting syndicate has been stopped, the Davao bombers have been arrested, the terrorist Abu Sayyaf is on the run, peace talks are ongoing with the Moros and the communists, the Philippine economy is continuing it’s rise and this time it is not a narco based economy (unlike in the previous 6 years). If President Trump emulates the leadership and accomplishments of PRRD he will leave previous US presidents in the dust and Americans will love him. However, Trump is a member of the moneyed class of the US and so the 300 + million ordinary Americans can not expect him to work for their benefit because he will only see benefits for the very rich. The Americans are hooped because they did something like electing an haciendero (Cojuangco, Aquino, Roxas, etc.) to the presidency.

    2. Robert James on

      I am never a fan of Trump. But certainly Duterte is playing the card of Superpower China and the US. Never this would happened if we elected a dummy and a peon of the US. Duterte, has achieved a lot with Philippine Standard politics, I am a frequent traveler between the US and the Philippines and certainly, NAIA 1 and NAIA3 has improved a lot. Baclaran and is so much better with all lanes open to traffic but Divisoria has to improved more.LTO offices are less corrupt but still corruption is present in some form, like they will fail you in the exam intentionally so that you will bribe the personal involved, discreet but still there, unlike before that they even blink an eye when they say “lagay”. Keep it up Mr. Mayor and keep pushing for the Philippines to the next level.

    3. Ulysses Agpaoa on

      Before Europe discovered the Philippines, its people were free. Trade with its neighboring islands and far as mainland China. But when Magellan set afoot in Cebu, all went downhill. Its people has been ruled and subjugated by her colonialist as well as by her own brothers.
      USA had the good intention to establish a representative government called democracy but that experiment failed. Oligarchy is the name of the game and sadly, the people are ok with that. Any social ills and perceived individual misfortunes can be absolved by his autocrat. The autocrat gives its people snake oil. The people feels saved.

    4. dating kriminal on

      Duterte Should go and meet Trump personally, and at the same time, PDU30 can ask him to increase U.S Foreign Aid to the Philippines, both economic and military. They will be complimenting each other, one mentioning his determination to deport illegal aliens and the other, admiring his methods in getting rid of drug activities in the country. He should encourage him to continue his drive in getting rid of everybody involved in drugs, eliminating them by all means necessary. Both of these men know that Vatican, the only country in the world that can legislate morality and the rest of the world is just a huge playing field, when it comes to women; they both love them as well.

    5. duterte will not go.
      he would be lambasted in a real democracy.
      trump and duterte – dumb and dumber.
      a pair of uncouth authoritarians who talk a lot but achieve little.
      they could swap tales of sexism and misogyny. 2 dirty old men who are repugnant to anyone with humanitarian values and ethical principles.

      • Aphetsky Lasa on

        For someone who has achieved so much in his first 6 months in office is not dumb to me. And for someone whose achievements as President of the Philippines in his first 6 months are unmatched by the previous leaders of the country is not dumb to me. Someone who would offer his life and his dignity to safeguard a country and its people is not dumb to me. Who is dumb? A person who presumes that others are and he is not, who pretends to know better and who arrogantly declares that he is moral and principled.

        Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!. Mabuhay si Digong, ang makakapagbago ng bansa. Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino!

      • Don’t bother debating.
        They call achievers and accomplished people dumb or idiotic since their definition of the word is “anything I don’t like”