Clinton or Trump? Duterte picks Putin
Who would he rather see win the White House—Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Dodging the question, President Duterte picked Russian President Vladimir Putin, his “favorite hero.”
Mr. Duterte declined to answer when asked in a press briefing on his arrival from China who had his vote for United States president— Democratic Party candidate Clinton or the Republican Party’s Trump.
He said he would have liked to give a candid answer to the question, but it might create hostility if he did so.
“I cannot gamble an answer. Because either way it would affect, you know, they might create a hostility here, antagonism here. So I am better off in saying that my favorite hero is Putin,” he said in answer to a reporter’s question at the Davao International Airport Friday night.
Mr. Duterte did not elaborate on his preference for Putin, but he had said in August that he was looking forward to meeting the Russian leader because they had a lot of similarities, including possibly “when it comes to girls.”
Both Mr. Duterte and Putin have also aired anti-American sentiments.
During the news briefing, Mr. Duterte thanked Russia for understanding him.
He said Russia—mentioning a meeting he had with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during the Asean Summit in August – came out with a statement saying it was ready to extend “any and all assistance.”
“So that if I would like to have an atomic bomb and if it is given to us, I’ll bring it here. That is what it means. But I would like to thank Russia for understanding us, my problem, and they know also how hard I am dealing with the economic stress of my country,” he said.
“And for them it was a very nice human gesture. To the Russian republic, thank you,” he added.
During his state visit to Beijing, Mr. Duterte said he wanted to build alliances with Russia and China, even as he announced the Philippines’ separation from the United States.
It could be the three of them—the Philippines, China and Russia—against the world, he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.