Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Trump lands in Philippines, offers to mediate on S.China Sea

Rodrigo Duterte admits stabbing rival to death when he was 16 Philippines' Duterte set for drug war backing at summit
Howard Terry | 13 November, 2017, 01:19

US President Donald Trump on Sunday, November 12, tweeted that he was soon coming to the Philippines - except he misspelled the name of the host country. They were anxious that the United States intervention in the southern Philippines could worsen the situation, which is still recovering from battle against Islamist militants.

Protesters shout slogans holding portraits of U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during a rally near the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Nov. 10, 2017.

Chinese President Xi Jinping received a red carpet welcome at the start of his state visit to Vietnam Sunday despite growing tensions between the two communist countries.

Another 2,290 people have been murdered in drug-related crimes, while thousands of other deaths remain unsolved, according to government data.

The Trump administration has avoid criticizing Duterte's drug war, even going so far to praise his efforts.

A senior USA official later tried to walk back Trump's comment, stating that Trump was merely acknowledging the U.S. is combating its own drug problem, not condoning violence and human rights violations. "Stabbing. That was when I was 16 years old, just because we just looked at each other", he said.

Duterte, 72, previous year branded then-US president Barack Obama a "son of a whore" for criticising the drug war. Duterte later said he regretted the comment, but the White House canceled the meeting between the two world leaders at the East Asia Summit in 2016 over the comment.

Philippine officials have also looked to highlight a connection between Trump and Duterte.

"How much more now that I am President?" he concluded, to laughter from the audience.

Last Friday, Duterte said he expected an "interesting time" with Trump during their meeting in Manila.

On Monday, the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits will be officiated by Duterte at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines before the leaders gather at the Philippine International Convention Centre for a series of meetings, including the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations.

Duterte boasts that as mayor of the southern city of Davao, he has killed suspects to serve as an example to his police officers.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I sang an invited duet with Ms. Pilita Corrales upon the orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States", the Philippine president revealed.

In a letter to Trump, members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Capitol Hill urged Trump to address the extrajudicial killings.

"Forget what they say, those human rights (activists)".

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