Duterte, Xi share same traits – DFA

Published April 13, 2018, 6:18 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Roy C. Mabasa

So what do President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping have in common?

Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano gestures during the press conference after the 50th ASEAN Foreign Minister Meeting in Pasay city, August 8,2017. (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano

According to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, both Presidents Duterte and Xi “deeply believe in their countries and deeply believe that they can at this juncture in history choose to be either useless or to be a game changer.

“They are two people who want to find a solution to a common problem and who don’t want to fight each other,” Cayetano said in an interview with the Sotuh China Morning Post while he was in China recently to accompany President Duterte to the annual Boao Forum for Asia. In the sidelines of the said forum, Duterte had a bilateral meeting whith his Chinese counterpart.

The foreign affairs chief said in the streets of the Philippines they call those big, tough guys such as Xi and Duterte as “siga” or tough guy.

Apparently, he said this is the reason why the two leaders respect and get along with each other.

“That big guy has some mutual respect for the big guy in the next street and somehow they get along,” he said.

Cayetano further pointed out that Duterte has formed a personal philosophy early on in life.

“Davao was a chaotic place in the 1960s and 1970s, so when President (Rodrigo) Duterte came … there was violence,” he noted. “So he said if you want peace in Davao, if you want to progress, you have to have peace and if you want peace, you have to accept people’s ideas. This carried over when he became president. If you want development – progress – you have to have peace.”

“But if you are constantly bickering with your neighbors whoever they are, you can’t focus on progress and development,” Cayetano added.

He emphasized that President Duterte is a very well-read person and that he saw that the dispute in the South China Sea has multi-claimants.

He said President Duterte has “one law, one philosophy, one direction for everyone.”