MANILA, Philippines – Two of the most talked about and controversial world leaders, US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte finally met on a bilateral meeting during the 31st ASEAN Summit held on Monday, November 13, 2017.
On their first formal and personal talks, the two tough-talking leaders discussed several issues including trade and the campaign against illegal drugs of the Duterte administration.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Trump emphasized trade between the two countries. Particularly, Trump pointed out the taxes given to imported cars from USA while there were no taxes for cars coming from Japan.
In lieu with this, Duterte is open for a free trade agreement with America.
The two leaders also talked about the campaign against illegal drugs of the Duterte administration. Roque said that there were some things Trump asked Duterte about how severe is the problem of the illegal drugs in the Philippines.
But they skipped the issue regarding human rights.
The two leaders strengthened the friendship of the Philippines and America and both agreed on the same note about one person.
“It’s very apparent that both of them have a [common] person who they consider as not their best friend. They have similar feelings towards former US President Barack Obama,” Roque said. “He [Trump] made the assurance that President Duterte has a friend in the person of President Trump.”
Duterte, from his previous speeches, send tirades to the former US President, even calling him, “a son of a whore”. Obama criticized Duterte on his alleged inhumane process on his campaign against illegal drugs.
The South China Sea dispute was also disregarded during the meeting.
On his speech during the opening ceremonies of the 31st ASEAN Summit, Duterte thanked Asian neighbors and other countries for the help in the fight against terrorism and extremism in Marawi and the rise of the new city.
According to him, it is important to help one another in fighting threats to peace and prosperity.
“Terrorism and violent extremism endanger the peace, stability, and security of our region because these threats know no boundaries. Piracy and armed robbery in the seas put a dent in our growth and disrupt the stability of both regional and global commerce. The menace of illegal drug trade continues to endanger the very fabric of our societies. These and other issues are high on the agenda of our meetings,” according to Duterte.