MANILA, Dec. 4 (PNA) — Malacanang is expecting the relationship between the Philippines and the United States will have a reboot following a positive phone conversation between President Rodrigo Duterte and US President-elect Donald Trump last Friday.
“The conversation between President Duterte and President-elect Trump went very well and it showed that there is a big possibility that we will have a reboot of relationship between the US,” Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview with state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday.
Andanar said Trump supports Duterte’s strong war on drugs and respects the Philippines’ sovereignty.
“He said to the President, that President-elect Donald Trump will support the campaign of the President (Duterte) against illegal drugs and he respect our sovereignty,” Andanar said.
Last Friday night, President Duterte and Trump talked over the phone with the Filipino leader congratulating the US President-elect for his close-margin win over Hilary Clinton.
“I appreciate the response that I got from President-elect Trump and I would like to wish him success. He will be a good president for the United States of America. I am very sure,” President Duterte said in a press statement.
“I could sense a good rapport, an animated President-elect Trump. And he was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem. He understood the way we are handling it,” the President added.
Trump’s support on Duterte’s war on drugs was the opposite of US President Barack Obama and some US senators’ reactions after they expressed concerns on the alleged extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses in the Philippines’ campaign against illegal drugs.
President Duterte said Trump invited him to visit New York and Washington DC.
Asked when President Duterte is expected to visit US, Andanar said the Palace is leaving to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as to when the President Duterte will travel to the US.
“I cannot give the exact date or if there will be travel because that is really under the responsibility of the DFA and the protocol office. I don’t want to preempt them,” he said.
President Duterte also mentioned to Trump about the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit that the Philippines will host next year.