October 30, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte has said his talks with United States President Donald Trump when he meets him in Manila in November will cover the Korean Peninsula issue, terrorism and the fight against drugs.
Duterte made the remarks when asked of what he would discuss with the US leader when the latter attends the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Summits on November 10-14.
"So, it would be terrorism, cooperation between the two countries, the fight against drugs, and all of these, I said, expect to be dealing with him around these topics," he told reporters Sunday night at the Davao airport before he left for Japan.
"And of course, I forgot. The main or the --- the opening agenda would really be Korea. We are worried, all of us, that you know, Murphy’s Law. 'If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.' So, that has always been a problem for us," he said.
The Philippines and the US have been working for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders at the sidelines of the ASEAN summits.
"I would deal with President Trump in the most righteous way, welcome him as an important leader, as a matter of fact, the important leader on this side of the planet," Duterte said.
He said he would have to listen on what Trump would say and "my responses would be calibrating of what he would ask me."
While he has not yet met Trump, Duterte said he noticed their mouths move "in the same cadence."
He cited his and Trump's declaration of a national emergency regarding the drug issue.
"But these are on the level of a societal problem. It’s not a problem of law and order. There are no warlords there. May be, illegal handguns, very few far and in between, not the kind of the drug problem that we have here. That including mayors and barangay captains are affected heavily," he said.
Duterte and Trump have spoken over the phone at least twice. Celerina Monte/DMS
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