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Rody govât open to better ties with US under Trump
“The way I see it – based on the President’s actuations in the past – he gives respect, especially when we are also accorded respect,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said yesterday.

Rody gov’t open to better ties with US under Trump

AUDIOFILE - Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2017 - 12:05am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is expected to have better relations with the United States under the administration of incoming president Donald Trump, despite President Duterte’s verbal attacks against the superpower and long-time Philippine ally.

“The way I see it – based on the President’s actuations in the past – he gives respect, especially when we are also accorded respect,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said yesterday.

“The President is very keen that the Philippines is respected and its sovereignty, independence is respected,” he said.

“So we can expect that, given the fact that president-elect Trump seems to understand where President Duterte is coming from, I believe we will have better relationship,” he added.

Abella’s statements – aired over government radio dzRB – came in the wake of reports, quoting the US State Department, as saying that it has not verified human rights abuses committed in the country in connection with Duterte’s war on drugs.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that while Washington is very concerned about “credible reports” of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, “we have not made a determination yet that this indeed is what’s happening.”

Abella’s statement also followed Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s declaring his agreement with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pronouncements that there should be mutuality of interest between the Philippines and Japan to make sure the US would remain an influential force in the region.

“I think it’s based on a mutual respect and I think there’s a mutual respect between – presently up to this point – between president-elect Trump and President Duterte,” Abella said.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson declined to pass judgment on Duterte, saying he did not have enough information to determine if Duterte and his government committed human rights abuses in their war against narcotics.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio had pressed Tillerson to condemn Duterte, citing reports of over 6,000 people killed in the conduct of Duterte’s war on drugs. 

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