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Trump lands in Philippines, final stop in Asia

14 November 2017

Both leaders have publicly praised the other and appear to have a good relationship, with some Filipinos even calling Duterte the "Filipino Trump".

As president of the Philippines, Duterte has sanctioned the deaths of thousands of alleged drug users in an effort to curtail drug abuse.

US President Donald Trump is expected to hold bilateral talks with his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, ahead of the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Mr Trump replied: "We've had a great relationship".

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Several organisations have urged Trump to censure Duterte's controversial war on drugs, but in May the USA president praised its effectiveness to eliminate drug trafficking during a telephone conversation between both leaders.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission urged the Philippines to launch a murder investigation into Duterte's claims he killed three people - and the deaths as part of his war on drugs.

Despite their apparent disagreements about what actually went on in the meeting - or, at least, the disagreements between Trump's people and Duterte's people - the two also seem to have a similar stance on the media. "He did not do what they are saying he did", Trump said. At the G20 summit in September of 2016, Obama said that Duterte needed to "to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that's consistent with basic global norms".

"I believe that he feels that he and Russian Federation did not meddle in the election", Trump said of Putin at a news conference in Hanoi with Vietnam's president. "This is not the press statement", he told the gathered reporters. Trump also laughed as Duterte called the reporters there "spies."

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In particular, this was due to the Trump administration's explicit and conscious decision to prioritise strategic cooperation with Asian allies over promotion of human rights and democracy values. President Duterte has also threatened to kill human rights activists, journalists and critics. "He could also have mentioned that future United States assistance was contingent on the Philippines government, initiating proper investigations into all alleged unlawful killings by police and other armed persons".

During a gala for the 20 world leaders in Manila to attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, Duterte took the microphone and sang the love song Ikaw, or You, in a duet with local pop star Pilita Corrales.

The much-anticipated meeting between two of the world's most controversial leaders is set to take place on November 13.

After the two firebrand leaders' meeting that lasted for 40 minutes, Harry Roque, Duterte's spokesperson, said Manila's human rights situation "did not arise" and was "not brought up."

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Trump lands in Philippines, final stop in Asia