Palace: Duterte and Trump in mutual admiration

Published September 26, 2019, 5:02 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said President Duterte and US President Donald Trump share the same admiration for each other because of the similarity of their leadership styles.

US President Donald Trump toasts with President Rodrigo Duterte (R) during a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on November 12, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA / MANILA BULLETIN)
US President Donald Trump toasts with President Rodrigo Duterte (R) during a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on November 12, 2017.
(AFP PHOTO / POOL / ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Trump told Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locson Jr. that he “loves” Duterte and remembered the Philippine leader singing for him during the banquet of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila in November 2017.

“At photoshoot w/ Pres. Trump & First Lady Melania, I shook his hand, he looked straight at me & said, ‘Say Hi to Frank Sinatra.’ Me stunned: ‘I admire you so much.’ He: ‘You know who I mean?’ ‘Uh.’ I remembered—Duterte joined Pilita Corales in song at ASEAN,” Locsin said in his Twitter account.

“‘I love that guy,'” Trump reportedly said of Duterte.

In his Thursday press briefing, Panelo said that he believes Duterte also felt the same way about the American leader.

“I think he loves him, too,” he said.

“If you recall, the style of the President was much earlier than Trump. Bago pa nagkaroon ng Trump may Duterte na, eh (Before Trump, there was already Duterte),” he added.

“Nagulat nga tayong lahat na ganoon din ang style. Oh, siyempre ‘pag ganyang pareho ang style niyo, ‘di meron kayong mutual admiration sa psyche (We were even surprised that they have the same style. If that’s the case, then both of them would have mutual admiration for their psyche),” he continued.

Panelo then reassured that while the President is reaching out to China and Russia for defense support, it did not mean that the Philippines’ relationship with the United States was going down the drain.

“‘Nandiyan pa rin. Basta beneficial sa atin (Our good relationship is still there. If it benefits us), I’ll be always open,'” he said, quoting the President.

Early this year, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Duterte was just like President Donald Trump because of the amount of controversies both leaders were facing.

Duterte and Trump are known to have a good relationship. This was evident during Trump’s visit to the Philippines in 2017 for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Duterte also belted out a song because of Trump’s request.

Former Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza said that Trump asked Duterte to sing when he heard the Philippine President humming to the tune of “Ikaw” while it was sung during the ASEAN gala dinner.

Trump also teased his ‘good friend’ Duterte about his singing during the bilateral meeting which took place the morning after.

“The Filipino performers were great. But the greatest performer was him,” Trump reportedly said, referring to Duterte.

Duterte responded by telling Trump to practice singing, too, so they could sing a duet in the future.

 
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