Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte offered “warm congratulations” to US President-elect Donald Trump and looks forward to working with him to enhance relations, a Philippine minister said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Duterte, who has expressed outrage almost daily with the Obama administration and threatened repeatedly to end one of Washington’s most important Asian alliances, hailed the success of US democratic system and the American way of life, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.
Duterte “looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-U.S. relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law,” he said.
Duterte — who has embarked on a bloody crackdown against the drug trade and repeatedly lashed out against US leaders and others in verbal tirades — and Trump have been compared to each other on several occassions.
When asked about Trump just a few days prior to the election, Duterte said only that Trump was “a good candidate.”
Trump and Duterte may see eye to eye on another international figure: Vladimir Putin.
Trump spoke highly of the Russian leader during the US presidential campaign. Duterte, who has moved to embrace both Russia and China during his few months in office, has also offered effusive praise for Putin.
Calling the Russian president “my idol,” Duterte said during the same interview that, “He has no illusions about himself. He knows that he was not trained for politics. Nor to be a statesman. He acts just like a president.”
“My characterization of Putin,” Duterte added, “is how I describe myself.”
(Reporting for Reuters by Martin Petty; editing by Nick Macfie)