Alpha-Male Bromance' Solidified as Trump Vows Support for 'Bloodstained' Duterte

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"We are an important ally", Duterte told Trump at the beginning of their talks, according to reporters allowed in to the meeting room.

The 71-year-old come into power in June 2016 and promised to deal with the drug problems facing the countryWho is Rodrigo Duterte?

Riot police used water canon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the US embassy in Manila on Sunday, just a few hours before the arrival of President Donald Trump in the Philippines for a regional summit and the last leg of his Asia tour.

"While the South Korean people are opposing war threats against the north and demanding peace in the region, here is the president of the Philippines who could not even commit to peace in his own country, allowing the country as a launching pad of USA aggression and putting the Filipino population to the danger of nuclear obliteration", he said in a statement.

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During his early months in office, Duterte repeatedly insulted U.S. officials, including former President Barack Obama who criticised his bloody drug war. But Trump's rapport with Duterte comes during a time when Duterte is being criticized around the world for approving extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs.

After his performance, Duterte said he sang the song for Trump.

The Davao-based solon also scoffed at Trump's racist anti-migrant policy which is targeting not just millions of Filipinos in the United States but millions more of migrants from other countries. While leaders crossed their arms to join hands with leaders next to them, Donald Trump awkwardly grabbed the hand of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang with both hands. "This is not the press statement", he told the gathered reporters.

Though presented with several opportunities to do so, President Donald Trump reportedly did not raise any concerns about human rights abuses or the "bloodstained" drug war being carried out by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a face-to-face meeting on Monday.

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In Hanoi on Sunday, Trump also pointed to sanctions the US has imposed on Russian Federation as punishment for election meddling. And he is expected, in meetings with other leaders, to push his agenda for bilateral, rather than multinational, trade agreements. "He could also have mentioned that future USA assistance was contingent on the Philippines government, initiating proper investigations into all alleged unlawful killings by police and other armed persons".

In particular, this was due to the Trump administration's explicit and conscious decision to prioritise strategic cooperation with Asian allies over promotion of human rights and democracy values.

Duterte hosted Trump and other leaders for a flashy dinner at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City Sunday, ahead of the official start of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. This backdrop makes the conflicting reports from their most recent meetings all the more confusing.

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