12 November 2017 |Karen Butler | UPI
During a gala for the 20 world leaders in Manila to attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, Duterte took the microphone and sang the love song Ikaw, or You, in a duet with local pop star Pilita Corrales.
After his performance, Duterte said he sang the song for Trump.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited, upon the orders of the commander-in-chief of the United States,” Duterte later said, according to the ABS-CBN news channel.
A communications official with the Duterte administration said the Philippines president and Trump “really hit it off.”
Both leaders have publicly praised the other and appear to have a good relationship, with some Filipinos even calling Duterte the “Filipino Trump.” 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.
Human Rights Watch said that even children are being targeted and described the issue as a “new level of depravity.
But rather than rebuke Duterte’s drug war killings, Trump praised him, according to a leaked transcript of a phone call between the two men earlier this year.
“…Jail? Jeez. When I was a teenager, I was in and out of jail. One fight there, another here – at the age of 16, I killed someone…A person. During a fight. Stabbing. I was 16. Just because we looked at each other.”
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump said in the April 29 phone call.
Trump’s stop in the Philippines will be his last on his 12-day tour of Asia. Speaking to reporters Sunday, Trump said he will make a new announcement on trade when he returns to the United States.
“…If you are corrupt, I will fetch you using a helicopter to Manila and I will throw you out. I have done this before. Why would I not do it again?”
“We’ve made some very big steps with respect to trade, far bigger than anything you know, in addition to about $300 billion in sales to various companies, including China,” Trump said, according to a pool report.
“President Trump has arrived in the Philippines to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Welcome and mabuhay! #POTUSinAsia,” the embassy tweeted along with a photo of Trump standing alone at the top of the stairs outside of Air Force One.