Duterte affirms ties with US, ‘deep regard’ for Obama—DFA
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte continues to value the Philippines’ ties with the United States despite his profanity-laced remarks against US President Barack Obama before leaving for the Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) summit in Laos.
In a statement, the DFA said the Philippines and the US “share common goals in their pursuit of the war against drugs, terrorists, crime and poverty.”
“President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would ‘lecture’ him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern. He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy,” the DFA said.
“While asserting the intent to chart an independent foreign policy and promote closer ties with all nations, he expressed his deep regard and affinity for President Obama and for the enduring partnership between our nations,” it added.
The statement came after Washington called off a planned meeting between Obama and Duterte, after the latter threatened to throw expletives at the top world leader should Obama “lecture” him on human rights and extrajudicial killings.
The DFA said Duterte looks forward to “ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries.
“President Duterte stressed that in securing and preserving the rights and liberties of our people, it is imperative that the fight against illegal drugs, terrorist, crimes and poverty must be won in order to preserve the principle and values upon which our democratic way of life is anchored,” it added. JE
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