By Genalyn Kabiling
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared his steadfast support for United States president Donald Trump, believing he is a “good” leader advancing the interests of the public.
The President issued the statement even after he decided not to buy any military aircraft from the United States due to the imposition of conditions attached to the procurement.
“I assure you, I am supporting Trump. He is a good President,” Duterte said during a press conference in Davao City last Friday night.
Duterte, who previously drew similarities with the tough-talking US leader, thinks Trump is simply misunderstood by the public.
“He is doing it also for his country. People just don’t understand,” Duterte added.
The President, meantime, is still not keen on visiting the United States despite a standing invitation from Trump.
Duterte noted two US lawmakers even threatened to launch a protest action in the event he visits Washington DC. He said they were too presumptuous to think he would travel to the United States during his term.
He recalled that he flew to the United States several years ago when his daughter Veronica was born.
The country’s relations with the United States have been earlier strained after the President repeatedly launched tirades at the Obama administration for criticizing his anti-drug campaign.
Duterte has lashed out at the previous US administration for meddling in domestic affairs, even threatening to severe a defense pact and order the pullout of American troops in the country.
The Philippine-US ties improved after the Philippine President welcomed the election of Trump. The two leaders have expressed mutual admiration on leadership style and vowed to further enhance bilateral, economic and security relations between the two strategic allies.