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Obama greets Duterte by phone, hails high voter turnout

DAVAO CITY – US President Barack Obama phoned presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday to congratulate him, the office of the White House’s press secretary said.

“President Obama spoke by phone (Tuesday) with presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to convey his congratulations,” said a statement from the office of Secretary Josh Earnest which was posted on its website.

The American President also praised the successful election which has documented high voter participation, the statement added.

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“President Obama noted that the successful election and record voter participation were emblematic of the Philippines’ vibrant democracy,” it said.

Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s closest aide and executive assistant, confirmed to INQUIRER.net that Obama and Duterte spoke by phone on Tuesday night.

Go said Obama called Duterte at 11:15 p.m. Their conversation, he said, lasted for six minutes.

Sought about the topic of their conversation, Go said Obama extended his congratulations to Duterte. Go did not provide any other details.

The tough-talking mayor has cemented his wide lead in the presidential race as he is close to getting 16 million votes.

As he assumes office on June 30, Duterte would be the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines. SFM/CDG

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TAGS: 2016 elections, 2016 presidential election, Barack Obama, Diplomacy, Elections, Elections 2016, Foreign affairs, Global Nation, International relations, Josh Earnest, Philippine elections, Politics, presumptive President, Rodrigo Duterte, United States, US, US President Barack Obama
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