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PHNO PRESIDENTIAL (DU30) NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

BRUNEI BACKS PHILIPPINES IN WAR ON DRUGS
[RELATED: Duterte: China supported the drug war; US, EU only criticized]

[RELATED(2): Russia tempts Du30: Moscow envoy urges Manila to formulate ‘wish list’]


OCTOBER 18 -ASEAN PARTNERS: President Duterte and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah review honor guards during the welcome ceremony in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday. Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is supporting President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said yesterday. Yasay said the war on drugs was among the issues discussed by Duterte and Bolkiah during bilateral talks held shortly after welcome ceremonies at the Istana Nurul Iman. Duterte has been vocal about his fight against illegal drugs and he is hoping neighboring countries, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), would do the same. He said drugs are transported along the borders, specifically in the territorial waters surrounding the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The President, who has just accepted the chairmanship of the ASEAN, is hoping for a drug-free ASEAN in the years to come. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte: China supported the drug war; US, EU only criticized...
VIDEO By THE STORYTELLER: DUTERTE VS AL JAZEERA REPORTERS -DEATH, DRUGS AND DIPLOMACY... RELATED(2) Russia tempts Du30: Moscow envoy urges Manila to formulate ‘wish list’...

ALSO: Du30 to take Silk Road in Beijing - Wants in on China’s infra initiatives
[RELATED: SEEKS CLARIFICATION - US envoy Goldberg: We want to continue this relationship with PH]


OCTOBER 18 -President Rodrigo Duterte
BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he wanted Manila to join Beijing’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative to make up for the country’s lack of funding for much-needed infrastructure. In an interview with the state-owned Xinhua news agency, Duterte said rapid development was hard to accomplish for any country without railways, and hoped China could offer soft loans to build them. “There are so many things in my country which I would like to implement, but [cannot] for [the] lack of the capital stock,” Duterte said. “If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”  READ MORE...RELATED, RELATED: SEEKS CLARIFICATION - US Ambassador Goldberg: We want to continue this relationship with PH...

ALSO: China, Ph returning to right path of handling sea row says, Chinese Foreign Ministry
[RELATED: US Asst Sec of State arrives in Manila today  -" Philippines' Duterte sparking distress around the world"]


OCTOBER 20 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, prepares to leave from a shopping mall in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. This week's visit to China by Duterte points toward a restoration of trust between the sides following recent tensions over their South China Sea territorial dispute, China's official news agency said Tuesday. AP/Ng Han Guan
MANILA, Philippines — China and the Philippines are returning to the "right path" of resolving the South China Sea issue through bilateral dialogue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. President Rodrigo Duterte is currently in Beijing for a four-day state visit. He is set to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders. LIVE updates: Duterte's state visit to China Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying noted that Duterte has said that he will come to China to make a "soft landing" for the issue. "We hold a consistent and clear position concerning this, advocating and committing ourselves to properly resolving relevant issues with countries concerned through dialogue and consultation," Hua said in a press briefing. READ MORE...RELATED, US: Philippines' Duterte sparking distress around the world...

ALSO: Poll shows skepticism among Filipinos on China remains high
[RELATED: A developing story - Duterte announces military, economic break with U.S.]
[RELATED(2): Duterte - ‘Only China can help us’]
[RELATED(3): No barter of sovereign rights in China visit — DU30]


OCTOBER 19 -Despite President Duterte’s move for warmer relations with China, a survey yesterday showed respondents are mostly skeptical of their Asian neighbor while giving an overwhelming confidence in the United  States. The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showed majority of Filipinos still trust the country’s traditional ally, the US, with a “very good” 66 percent overall net trust rating from 1,200 respondents nationwide in a survey conducted last September 24 to 27. Only 11 percent have “little trust” for the US against a 76 percent who expressed “much trust” and 13 percent who were undecided. Trust for the US, however, slid from a net 72 rating in a similar survey conducted last June. The survey showed China got a “bad” net negative 33 rating where 22 percent of respondents said they have “much trust” against 55 percent having “little trust,” with 22 percent undecided. READ MORE...
RELATED,  A developing story - Duterte announces military, economic break with US...RELATED(2), Duterte - ‘Only China can help us’ RELATED(3) No barter of sovereign rights in China visit — DU30...

ALSO: Back in Davao - Duterte explains, underscores mutual respect in 'separation' statements
(Duterte said that severing diplomatic ties with the US is not feasible. “Why? Because the Filipinos in the United States will kill me,” he said in jest. Duterte further explained that what he was referring to was a foreign policy that need not dovetail with the foreign policy of America.)
[RELATED:US backs Philippines-China talks]


OCTOBER 22 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ahead of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. China and the Philippines have agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders. Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte has underscored the value of mutual respect for a sovereign nation and the dignity of Filipinos in pushing for an independent foreign policy for the Philippines. As he arrived Friday night from his state visit to China, Duterte said that his latest pronouncement on separation from the US should not be taken as severing ties with America. He said there will be no severance of ties with the US. “It’s not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties, you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that. Why? It’s to the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship. Why? Because there are many Filipinos in the United States… Americans of Filipino ancestry. Why? Because the people of my country are not ready to accept,” he explained. READ MORE...RELATED,
US backs Philippines-China talks...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Brunei backs Philippines in war on drugs


OCTOBER 18 -ASEAN PARTNERS: President Duterte and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah review honor guards during the welcome ceremony in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, OCTOBER 24, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Edith Regalado October 18, 2016 - Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is supporting President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said yesterday.

Yasay said the war on drugs was among the issues discussed by Duterte and Bolkiah during bilateral talks held shortly after welcome ceremonies at the Istana Nurul Iman.

Duterte has been vocal about his fight against illegal drugs and he is hoping neighboring countries, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), would do the same.

He said drugs are transported along the borders, specifically in the territorial waters surrounding the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The President, who has just accepted the chairmanship of the ASEAN, is hoping for a drug-free ASEAN in the years to come.

READ MORE...

Duterte arrived here on Sunday night and was received by Bolkiah at the Istana Nurul Iman with a 21-gun salute at 2 p.m. yesterday.

Last night, Bolkiah hosted a dinner for the President and his party, which included Yasay, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza and Press Secretary Martin Andanar.

The President met with over 7,000 members of the Filipino community at the Hassan Bolkiah National Sports Complex on Sunday after his arrival.

More investments Meanwhile, the President is opening the country for more investments from Brunei.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the President expressed to Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, in the bilateral meeting yesterday afternoon at the Istana Nurul Iman, that the country welcomes more investments from this oil-rich country.

His arrival here also marked the 32 years since bilateral relations have been formally established between the Philippines and Brunei.

“On trade and investments, we had very good discussion with respect also to encouraging investments in our country,” Lopez said.

He stressed that the Philippines is considered to be among the fast-growing economies in the world which Brunei investors could look into.

VIDEO By THE STORYTELLER: DUTERTE VS AL JAZEERA REPORTERS
DEATH, DRUGS AND DIPLOMACY

 
https://youtu.be/S78ZJaZiHlw?t=114
The battle of the Brains - Two versus one who was smarter? Who Won? Duterte or Al Jazeera Reporters? The Storyteller This Al Jazeera interview is interesting because they sent two reporters. It is in a way flattering for President Duterte because Al Jazeera probably thought that Duterte's sharp mind cannot be handled by one interviewer.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte: China supported the drug war; US, EU only criticized By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 19, 2016 - 11:34am 6 357 googleplus1 1


President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua as he arrives in China for a four-day state visit. Also in the photo is Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Presidential Photo/Released

MANILA, Philippines — China was the only country who openly supported the Philippine government's campaign against the illegal drug trade while the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) only criticized the drug war, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

"China is the only country to come out freely and a firm statement that they are supporting the fight against drugs in my country," Duterte said in an interview with Chinese state news agency Xinhua on Tuesday.

The president added that the Chinese government assisted in building a drug rehabilitation facility in the country.

Duterte stressed that China never criticized his war against drugs while the US and the EU have called on him to stop the rising number of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects in the country.

"The other countries, United States, EU, instead of helping us they know that we are short of money... all they had to do was to criticize. China never criticized," the chief executive said.

The president added that China helped quietly in building the new drug rehabilitation center at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

"They helped us quietly. It was not only after last week that I knew that the buildings are almost complete and nobody knew it," Duterte said.

READ: DOH announces soft opening of mega rehab center

As he pays a four-day state visit to China, Duterte said that he wants to improve trade relations with Beijing despite the maritime dispute over the South China Sea.

Duterte stressed that "there is no sense in going to war just fighting over a body of water."

"We would like to go there to make friends but not really to ask for money but to call for help. If we can have the things that you have given to other countries, your assistance, we also would like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia particularly Southeast Asia," Duterte said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier praised Duterte for working to improve ties with Beijing.

"This reflects the wish of the Philippine people, and is in line with the Philippines' national interest. No foreign force can stand in the way of such process," Wang said.

LIVE updates: Duterte's state visit to China

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RELATED(2) FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Russia tempts Du30: Moscow envoy urges Manila to formulate ‘wish list’ posted October 22, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


SINEWY COOPERATION. President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, on the same day Duterte and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping pledge to enhance bilateral trust and cooperation as the former seeks to rebalance his country’s diplomacy away from Manila’s long-time ally Washington. AFP

AS PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte flew home from a historic trip to China, Russia declared its readiness to assist the Philippines, saying Manila just has to formulate its “wish list” to jump-start discussions, Moscow’s envoy in Manila said Friday.

“Please formulate your wish list. What kind of assistance do you expect from Russia and we will be ready to sit down with you and discuss what can and should be done,” Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said in an interview with the GMA News television network.

“A true Russia is much, much different from what is being portrayed by Hollywood movies. [The Philippines and Russia] deserve to know each other much, much better. It’s time to discover,” the envoy said after Duterte declared that he will “separate” Manila from its long-time relationship with Washington.

It was the most encouraging pronouncement from Moscow after Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta pursued talks with Moscow early October over possible agreements under Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).

A foreign office insider said the Philippines is studying the acquisition of two or four of MI17 or MI24 helicopter gunships to improve the country’s capability against possible internal and external threats.

Khovaev, one of the first foreign ambassadors to meet Duterte in Davao City days after the May 9 elections, said Russia is open to any kind of cooperation with the Philippines.


Russian President Vladimir Putin

Khovaev said he was impressed by Duterte during a “very productive” meeting where they discussed how to jump-start Philippine-Russian relations which officially started only in 1976.

Even after their meeting in May, Khovaev had already said that it was “time for Russians to discover the Philippines, and it is time for the Philippines to discover Russia,” adding that strengthened trade cooperation could begin before the end of this year.


The Russian envoy said there is much potential in the two country’s bilateral ties because “there were no disputes and no contradictions” and only develop “cooperation in practical terms.”

Duterte initiated talks with Russia and China amid an apparent frustration at the United States which had repeatedly rejected Philippines requests for military equipment even during the previous administration.

RODY'S DISLIKE FOR THE AMERICANS

An administration source said Duterte’s dislike for the Americans stemmed from the United States’ repeated rejection for the Philippines to acquire helicopters and night-visioned-drones.

The source said, during the previous administration, President Benigno Aquino III has requested from the United States to help them acquire helicopters, drones and other military equipment to improve defense capabilities against inside and outside threats, but it had been turned down.

The source said the Americans were “afraid that the government would use these against civilians.”

While refusing the Philippines, the US is giving China and Pakistan helicopters and drones, the source said.

“The ships they provided us were gutted already. And we had to buy back the equipment. The C130 are also headed to the boneyard,” the administration source said.

The source added that this angered Duterte shortly after he took office.

The Philippine ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta has already announced a plan to acquire military equipment and technology from Russia.

He said in an earlier statement that officials of FSMTC briefed them on the different modes of financing on acquiring military equipment or technology.

An insider confirmed that the Philippines is set to acquire either two or four of MI17 or MI24 to improve the country’s capability against possible internal and external threats.


MANILA STANDARD

Du30 to take Silk Road: Wants in on China’s infra initiatives posted October 19, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


President Rodrigo Duterte

BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he wanted Manila to join Beijing’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative to make up for the country’s lack of funding for much-needed infrastructure.

In an interview with the state-owned Xinhua news agency, Duterte said rapid development was hard to accomplish for any country without railways, and hoped China could offer soft loans to build them.

“There are so many things in my country which I would like to implement, but [cannot] for [the] lack of the capital stock,” Duterte said.

“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”

READ MORE...

China’s most ambitious foreign policy initiative, the Belt and Road refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road launched by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote economic cooperation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.

The strategy underlines China’s push to take a bigger role in global affairs, and its need for cooperation in areas such as steel and manufacturing.

Finance Secretrary Carlos G. Dominguez had earlier said the government will be facilitating various agreements for railway or power grid projects in the Philippines through institutions such as the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), adding that China may also may roll out measures to boost agricultural imports such as bananas and pineapples from the Philippines.

“The AIIB for us is the number one priority,” Dominguez told reporters.

“We will discuss with them our whole plan and we will match it with theirs. We’re just new, and I don’t know exactly what they want to do. We have to go to them and see what their priorities are also so we can match our priorities with them.”

FIRST PH PRESIDENT, 450 BIZ DELEGATION

Duterte will be the first Philippine leader invited to the capital by Chinese President Xi Jinping for one-on-one talks.

Duterte’s 450-strong business delegation will include tycoons San Miguel Corp. President Ramon S. Ang; JG Summit Holdings Inc. president Lance Y. Gokongwei; Enrique K. Razon, Jr., chairman of gaming company Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and global port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc.; Hans T. Sy, son of the Philippines’ richest man, Henry S. Sy Sr. who controls SM Investments Corp.; as well as liquor and tobacco magnate Lucio C. Tan, who also owns Philippine Airlines, Inc.

In his interview with Xinhua, Duterte also said an “outsider” that he did not name tried to meddle in the South China Sea dispute, even though he was determined to pursue bilateral talks with China.

“We are not interested in allowing another country to talk. I just want to talk to China,” he said.

Duterte has expressed doubts about whether the United States would come to the aid of the Philippines in a military showdown, and on the eve of his departure for Beijing said he was looking to buy Chinese weapons for his fight against terrorism.

Massive American access to the Philippines, negotiated by the Pentagon under the previous administration, was considered a mainstay of the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia strategy that China has blasted as a containment policy, and that it would like to unravel..

Duterte’s statements came as Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said that the President will not raise the Philippines’ claim in the South China Sea in his meeting with Xi here.

Duterte arrived via a chartered Philippine Airlines flight PR001 for a four-day state visit expected to raise economic cooperation between the two countries.

“The South China Sea issue will not be discussed specifically in our bilateral engagements in resolving the issue. They might talk about it generally but I think the President has made it clear that maybe this is not the time to talk about resolving the South China Sea dispute as we are still continuing to build trust and confidence between the two countries,” Yasay said.

Duterte earlier described his trip to China as “a key turning point in both our histories”– and has not pressed Beijing over the UN tribunal’s ruling in the Philippines’ favor.

In an interview last week with al-Jazeera, Duterte said that during his visit he would fight to maintain the country’s islands in the South China Sea.

“Nobody is going to give up anything there,” he said, adding that under the Constitution, a president cannot give away Philippine ground.

But he added that although he would raise the tribunal’s verdict, he could not be forceful.

Last week he instructed the country’s navy to halt joint patrols of the South China Sea with the US in order to avoid “any Philippine action that China might deem hostile.”

A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, played down Duterte’s insinuations that he would raise a controversial arbitral ruling on the South China Sea with China’s leaders, saying that they expects the visit to improve ties and enhance cooperation.

“We hope President Duterte’s visit can enhance political trust between the two countries, deepen cooperation and develop our traditional friendship. We hope both sides can handle differences through dialogue and bring our strategic partnership back on track to healthy and stable development,” Hua said Tuesday.

Speaking about the South China Sea issue, Hua said that China’s door for negotiation has always been open to the Philippines, adding that China is willing to work with all parties in the South China Sea to maintain peace and stability.

Hua referenced Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign and moves to uphold an independent foreign policy and said that China believes he can find a development path suitable for his country.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS

SEEKS CLARIFICATION US Ambassador Goldberg: We want to continue this relationship with PHL Published October 21, 2016 7:28am Updated October 21, 2016 7:55am

 US Ambassador Philip Goldberg on Friday said the US wants to continue its relationship with the Philippines and would like clarification on what President Rodrigo Duterte meant by breaking alliance.

The ambassador was reacting to a statement Thursday by Duterte while he was in China that he was breaking the Philippines' military and economic alliance with the US, the country's longtime ally.

"Quite frankly, I don't know what he means by a separation... Our relationship on the economic side is very strong so we need further clarification on that," Goldberg said in an interview on Unang Balita.

"The US has a very strong commitment to the Philippines. We have a defense treaty. We consider it to be a solid and solemn commitment. But we can't say the same for the Philippine side... We have to clarify exactly what this means in policy terms," he said.

"So the real question is, what does it all mean? We have a large assistance program here," he said, citing for instance a 200-km road in Samar constructed with assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, humanitarian assistance, scholarship offerings, and disaster relief operations.

"We worked very hard in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda," he added.

"I don't know what separation means because we're inextricably linked... We need clarification," Goldberg said.

"We're committed to an alliance between the two countries... From our point of view, we're not suing for divorce," he said.

The US State Department on Thursday said it will seek an explanation from the Philippines for Duterte's announcement of a "separation" from Washington, Reuters reported.

"We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from the US," said State Department spokesman John Kirby. "It's not clear to us exactly what that means in all its ramifications." —KG, GMA News


PHILSTAR

'China, Philippines returning to the right path of handling sea row' By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 20, 2016 - 11:03am 6 230 googleplus1 1


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, prepares to leave from a shopping mall in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. This week's visit to China by Duterte points toward a restoration of trust between the sides following recent tensions over their South China Sea territorial dispute, China's official news agency said Tuesday. AP/Ng Han Guan

MANILA, Philippines — China and the Philippines are returning to the "right path" of resolving the South China Sea issue through bilateral dialogue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte is currently in Beijing for a four-day state visit. He is set to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.

LIVE updates: Duterte's state visit to China

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying noted that Duterte has said that he will come to China to make a "soft landing" for the issue.

"We hold a consistent and clear position concerning this, advocating and committing ourselves to properly resolving relevant issues with countries concerned through dialogue and consultation," Hua said in a press briefing.

READ MORE...

Hua also noted that Duterte sincerely trusts China and hopes to handle relevant issues and expand bilateral cooperation through his visit.

"Friendly neighbors are supposed to get along with each other in this way. For China, we have our own judgment about who is our friend and make our own decision on what issues should be addressed in a friend-to-friend way," Hua said.

China is willing to play an active part in boosting the Philippines' economic and social development, as well as its campaign against illegal drugs, Hua said.

"It is believed that the two sides will extend and deepen pragmatic cooperation across the board and realize common development as bilateral relationship gets better and better," the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

Beijing also expressed its willingness to talk with Duterte regarding cooperation on drug control and fight against drug crimes.

"The anti-drug issue as you mentioned is indeed a major concern of President Duterte. China appreciates President Duterte’s efforts to crack down on drug crimes and improve social security with the fundamental interests and well-being of his country and people in mind," Hua said.

Xi will hold a welcome ceremony and stage a welcome banquet for Duterte. The Philippine president will also meet with Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang on separate occasions.

Duterte will also attend the opening ceremony of the China-Philippines economic and trade forum with Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

Around 400 delegates from the business sector accompanied Duterte to his state visit in China.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said that the large business delegation shows the direction that Duterte wants to carry out in the Philippines' bilateral relations with China.

RELATED: DFA: Business delegation shows Duterte's plan in China ties

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

US: Philippines' Duterte sparking distress around the world By Jim Gomez (Associated Press) | Updated October 24, 2016 - 3:54pm 2 1113 googleplus1 0


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel, center, waves to reporters before meeting with officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, Philippines on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. Russel has said that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about his government's intentions have sparked consternation in the U.S. and other governments and in the business world. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — America's top diplomat for Asia said Monday that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about his government's intentions have sparked distress in the U.S. and other countries.

Daniel Russel, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said he also relayed to Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. international concern over continuing killings under Duterte's crackdown against illegal drugs.

Russel's visit to the Philippines, part of a three-nation trip to Southeast Asia, comes amid increasing uncertainty about Washington's treaty alliance with Manila. The brash Duterte, who took office on June 30, has displayed antagonism toward America, declaring his desire to scale back military engagements with the U.S. and telling President Barack Obama "to go to hell."

Duterte's administration, however, has not formalized his public declarations to remove U.S. counterterrorism forces from the volatile southern Philippines and stop large-scale joint exercises involving American forces, creating confusion among even his Cabinet officials.

In a major walk-around, Duterte sparked diplomatic alarm when he announced during a state visit to Beijing last week his "separation" with the United States. Upon returning home the day after his stunning remarks, Duterte said he did not mean he was severing diplomatic ties with Washington but only wanted to end a foreign policy that's overly oriented toward the U.S.

"I've pointed out to Secretary Yasay that the succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines' intentions has created consternation in a number of countries, not only in mine," Russel told reporters Monday in Manila after a meeting with Yasay that went overtime.

The unease, Russel said, was also palpable "not only among governments, but also ... in other communities, in the expat Filipino community, in corporation board rooms as well."

"This is not a positive trend," he said, adding that the U.S. remains committed to continuing a solid alliance with and providing assistance to the Philippines, including in fighting the drug menace.

Russel said that while Washington welcomes the relaxation of tensions between Manila and Beijing under Duterte, the rapprochement should not come at the expense of the U.S. or other nations.

"It's a mistake to think that improved relations between Manila and Beijing somehow come at the expense of the United States," he said. "This should be addition and not subtraction."


TRIBUNE

Poll shows skepticism on China remains high Written by Ted Tuvera Wednesday, 19 October 2016 00:



Despite President Duterte’s move for warmer relations with China, a survey yesterday showed respondents are mostly skeptical of their Asian neighbor while giving an overwhelming confidence in the United States.

The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showed majority of Filipinos still trust the country’s traditional ally, the US, with a “very good” 66 percent overall net trust rating from 1,200 respondents nationwide in a survey conducted last September 24 to 27.

Only 11 percent have “little trust” for the US against a 76 percent who expressed “much trust” and 13 percent who were undecided.

Trust for the US, however, slid from a net 72 rating in a similar survey conducted last June.

The survey showed China got a “bad” net negative 33 rating where 22 percent of respondents said they have “much trust” against 55 percent having “little trust,” with 22 percent undecided.

READ MORE...

Compared to the same polls conducted in the same period last year, China’s popularity among Filipinos had a “poor” negative 24 net rating.

Among the issues respondents cited for theirskepticism of the Chinese was the territorial dispute on portions of the South China Sea (West Philippines Sea) following the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling that dashed Beijing’s sweeping nine-dash-line claim.

In his recent pronouncements, Duterte had asserted the need for an “independent foreign policy” that tends to veer away the Philippines from its long time political, economic and military partnership with Washington but tends to be favorable to the latter’s cold war rivals China and Russia.

Poll done prior to visit

Duterte is currently in Beijing for a four-day state visit where he is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Chinese Communist Party Chairman Zhang Dejiang on separate occasions.

SWS said the survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with error margins of positive and negative three percent for national percentages, and positive and negative six percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The area estimates were weighted by National Statistics Office medium-population projections for 2016 to obtain the national estimates.

SWS said the survey was non-commissioned and it was done on SWS’ own initiative and released as a public service.
The specific countries included in the surveys are based on their relevance to foreign affairs, it added.

SWS said the questions asked was For the following, please indicate if your trust/faith (in a particular country) is very much, somewhat much, undecided if much or little, very little, or you have not heard or read anything about (the particular country.

VIDEO: OUTGOING US ENVOY GOLDBERG SAYS GOODBYE

 
https://youtu.be/ZZZ-jkMTMTU?t=264
GOODBYE DUTERTE. GOODBYE PHILIPPINES!' NEWS TV NEWS TV Subscribe Add to Share More 152,779 views 660 68 Published on Oct 19, 2016 Welcome to my channel. You are in a 'one-stop-news-channel'! NEWS TV is a place where you can find news updates and latest trends in the Philippines. We grab the best stuffs and reupload here. What’s new in politics, entertainment, culture, lifestyle, and Duterte – ENJOY in hd/good quality! Please Subscribe. Maraming salamat po. Visit and Like my Page Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pdu30rocks/

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte announces military, economic break with US By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated October 20, 2016 - 6:24pm 2 1911 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ahead of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. China and the Philippineshave agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders. Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday announced that he is cutting ties with the United States, the Philippines' long-time ally and trading partner.

Duterte, who is in Beijing for a state visit, announced the separation from the US "not only in economics, but also military" at a gathering of Chinese businessmen.

“In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States,” Duterte said in his speech.

Duterte earlier hinted at cutting ties with the United States, saying at one event that US President Barack Obama “can go to hell.” The president started to throw tirades against the US after it raised concerns over his anti-drug campaign, which has seen a rise in drug-related deaths.

READ: Duterte tells Obama 'you can go to hell,' warns of breakup

The president is known for makings statements that he later retracts or that his spokespersons later clarify.

Previously, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Chief Legal Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo clarified that Duterte’s pronouncement of “crossing the Rubicon with the US” did not mean cutting ties with the country’s former colonizer.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella has also said that Duterte's statements are not policy until official action is taken.

RELATED: Duterte's 'cross the Rubicon' remark does not equate to cutting US ties, says Yasay

| WATCH: Panelo explains ‘crossing the Rubicon’ statement of Duterte

This is a developing story.......

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RELATED(2) FROM THE TRIBUNE

Duterte: ‘Only China can help us’
WAR GAMES WITH BEIJING, MOSCOW BUT NOT WASHINGTON
Written by Ted Tuvera Tuesday, 18 October 2016 00:00

President Duterte made new radical overtures to China yesterday saying that he is open to joint military exercises with China and Russia, and reiterated he will no longer allow war games with the United States while at the same time stating that “only China can help us (the Philippines).”

Duterte made the remarks about the shift in military partnership through war games in an interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television ahead of a four-day visit to Beijing, which begins today and is aimed at improving ties that soured over competing claims in the resource-rich South China Sea.

In turn, Duterte told Chinese state news agency Xinhua that “only China can help (the Philippines).” Duterte said compared to other world economic powers China has the “good, sound policies, internal and external”.

“Some other countries know we are short of money, (but) instead of helping us, all they had to do was just to criticize. China never criticizes. They help us quietly. and I said that’s why it’s part of the sincerity of the people,” Duterte said.
“I would say that China deserves the kind of respect that China now enjoys,” he added.

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Amid the Philippines’ territorial feud with China, Duterte also said that he will approach authorities in China with diplomacy, which would be a departure from his renowned bravado and irreverent manner of talking.

“It is better to talk than (consider) war. We want to talk about friendship, we want to talk about cooperation,” the President said.

Duterte said that after junking the traditional games with US troops, he’s now open for joint military exercises with China or Russia.

“There is no sense in going to war. There is no sense fighting over a body of water… We want to talk about business. War would lead us to nowhere,” Duterte said.

“All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country,” he said.

Citing his “independent foreign policy” path, Duterte said that he does not want other countries, particularly the United States, to interfere in his dealings with China.

“We are not interested in allowing other countries to talk. I just want to talk to China,” the President said.

“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia,” Duterte said apparently addressing the Chinese.

“There are so many things in my country which I would like to implement, but for the lack of capital stock,” he added.

Americans’ playtime ends

Asked if he would consider joint military exercises with China or Russia, Duterte said: “Yes, I will. I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers.”

Duterte also repeated he would no longer allow joint exercises with the United States, the Philippines’ main defense ally and supplier of military hardware.

“This will be the last. It has been programmed. I do not want my soldiers to be humiliated,” Duterte said, in reference to one set of war games in the Philippines that ended last week.

Duterte has sought to dramatically reshape his nation’s foreign relations since taking office on June 30, by pivoting toward China and Russia while moving away from the United States.

He has been angered by US criticism of his war on crime, which has claimed more than 3,700 lives, and praised China and Russia for showing him “respect”.

But Duterte, signalling his shift is for pragmatic reasons, has also repeatedly ridiculed the United States for what he sees as its weakening economic and military influence around the world.

Duterte is bringing an entourage of hundreds of businessmen with him to Beijing, and deals worth billions of dollars are expected to be announced during the trip.

Asked if he would seek to buy military equipment from China during his visit, Duterte told Phoenix Television: “Yes, but not really in (large) numbers.”

Duterte said he would also need small, fast attack boats from China to fight “terrorism”.

“If China does not help us in this endeavor, we will have a hard time fighting terrorism,” he said without elaborating.

Bilateral relations worsened under Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino, who tried to challenge China’s expansionism in the South China Sea.

To counter China, Aquino allowed a much greater American military presence in the Philippines.

He also filed a legal case at a UN-backed tribunal, which ruled in July that China’s claims to most of the sea had no legal basis. China refused to accept the ruling.

Duterte has said he does not want to use the verdict to pressure China.

Same page on drugs war

China said in a commentary in its mouthpiece Global Times, “nothing better captures Duterte’s anticipation and reasons to visit China after assuming office than his remarks in a recent interview with Chinese media outlet ifeng, during which he thanked Beijing for not interfering in how he is running the country and fighting his crusade against drugs.”

He expressed his desire to introduce techniques and know-how in many fields and to attract more trade and investment from China, the commentary stated.

“Beijing’s support is for the moment of great importance to Duterte in the face of worldwide condemnation against his heavy-handed anti-drug campaign and the country’s sluggish economy,” it noted.

“So far, an urgent task for Duterte is developing the economy and improving his people’s livelihoods. An enhanced relationship will boost economic collaboration between the two and help realize common development,” it added.

“Furthermore, given the poor state of infrastructure in the Philippines, Manila badly needs foreign investment, and China has not only capital, but also the technology for appropriate projects,” Global Times said.

“In addition, Manila eagerly hopes not to disrupt its fishermen’s livelihood because of the tensions between China and the Philippines. Sovereignty disputes can’t be solved once and for all during a short visit,” it added.

The commentary added that the issue requires long-term efforts and wisdom.

“However, the meeting is bound to become a crucial opportunity for the two sides to set aside the territorial disputes and talk about how to jointly develop the waters. There will be progress in bilateral ties as long as cooperative topics such as fisheries can be discussed,” it said.

“As long as there are agreements between the two sides, big or small, they might bring about a turning point in Sino-Philippine relations,” the commentary said.

China urges RP to secure AIIB slot

The government must also fast-track the ratification of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agreement before end of the year or risk losing the opportunity to be a member of the institution which can greatly help in the country’s aim for an infrastructure buildup, said a Chinese envoy.

In a forum last Friday, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said that “by becoming a founding member, you will have access to loans that would finance in infrastructure projects in the Philippines.”

The Philippines is a founding member of the AIIB but it has yet to formalize its membership pending the ratification of an agreement for membership by the Senate.

On this note, Zhao said “it’s better that you can do it before President Duterte visits China,” he said referring to the Philippine President’s trip on October 18 to October 21.

The envoy added that if this cannot be done by that period, it must be ratified by the end of this year “otherwise you’ll lose your membership of AIIB.”

In addition to the benefits the country is set to gain, Zhao said having a headquarters of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, the Philippines will enjoy huge advantages in securing funds from the two financial institutions.

“Up until now, since it became operational at the end of last year, the AIIB has been financing infrastructure projects in cooperation with ADB,” Zhao said.

He acknowledged that some of the senators and the Department of Finance (DoF) are trying to facilitate the process of ratification but implored all concerns to speed up the ratification process of agreement.

“We are glad that the Philippines can become the last founding member of the AIIB but up until now, they haven’t been yet because of the pending ratification,” Zhao said.

According to Zhao, to apply for AIIB membership a nation must pay at least $100 million.

The Philippines would need to contribute at least $196 million to AIIB’s $100-billion capital stock.

In the proposed 2017 budget of the DoF, a P4 billion initial contribution to the AIIB has been alloted
. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

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RELATED(3)  FROM THE TRIBUNE

No barter of sovereign rights in China visit — DU30 Written by Ted Tuvera Monday, 17 October 2016



President Duterte vowed he will not “barter” away territory and economic rights ahead of a visit to Beijing, where he hopes to mend ties frayed by a row over the South China Sea.

“I will be very careful not to bargain anything (away) for after all I cannot give what is not mine and which I am not empowered to do by any stretch of imagination,” he said in Davao City.

Duterte is now on a state visit to Brunei and will head to Beijing tomorrow where he will bring along a large business delegation in a bid to secure Chinese investment as relations sour between Manila and its traditional ally the United States.

Duterte Sunday said he would also raise with Chinese President Xi Jinping a ruling by an international tribunal that outlawed Beijing’s claim to most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the Philippine coast.China, which rejected the ruling, claims nearly all of the strategically vital waters and has in recent years built artificial islands in the disputed areas that are capable of hosting military bases.

READ MORE...

Duterte had earlier vowed not to “taunt or flaunt” the July ruling as he aims to improve trade and investment ties, which some critics warned could entail surrendering exclusive economic rights to the sea to the powerful neighbor.

“The international tribunal’s decision will be taken up, but there will be no hard impositions. We will talk and we will maybe paraphrase everything in the judgment and set the limits of our territories and (exclusive) economic zones.”

During the election campaign, Duterte said he was willing to “set aside” the sea dispute in return for China building a railway through the impoverished southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

His willingness to launch negotiations with China over the dispute has been welcomed by Beijing.

Duterte yesterday said he agreed with senior Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio that the president could be impeached and removed from office if he gives away Scarborough Shoal, a fishing ground within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone that China seized in 2012.

“He is correct. I would be impeached. It’s an impeachable offence. I don’t fight with that statement. It’s all correct it’s all legal and so I agree with him,” Duterte said.

“It belongs to the Filipino people. I cannot be the sole authorised agent, for that is not allowed under the constitution,” he added.

Since coming to power in May, Duterte’s push to restore ties with China has been accompanied by fiery rhetoric against the United States.

He scrapped a series of annual war games and joint South China Sea patrols with the US military after President Barack Obama criticised Manila’s brutal war on drug crime which has left more than 3,000 people dead.

“I do not see anything wrong in Justice Carpio’s statement. They were valid. I cannot give it up. Nobody can give it up.

Nobody in the constitution allows anybody to give it up. Even the President cannot give it up,” Duterte said.

“We will stick with our claim. We will not bargain anything there. There will be no bargaining of our territories,” he stressed.

CARPIO WARNING

Carpio warned Duterte on his apparent attitude with China which accordingly tends towards giving up portions of the South China Sea.

Carpio was among the Philippines’ representatives in the said case filed before the PCA back in 2013.

Furthermore, Duterte said that the main intention of his trip to strengthen the country’s bilateral relations with China which turned cold by Aquino’s pro-American stances.

“This is the first state visit of a Philippine President to Beijing since 2011 and signals a key turning point in both our histories.

I will look forward to renewing the ties of friendship between the Philippines and China and to reaffirm the commitment to work closer to achieved shared goals for our countries and peoples,” the Chief Executive said of his 4-day trip to China.

“I look forward to exchanging views with the leaders of China on how we can further improve our bilateral relations. We can identify emerging areas of partnership and various fields of cooperation,” he added.

Earlier, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, President Duterte said that his state visit to China is his response to Beijing’s invitation to straighten kinks related to the maritime debacle.

Duterte said talking with Chinese authorities is the best way to prevent possible skirmishes.

“What do you think will happen to my country if I choose to go to war? Fight along? I would call upon other countries to help me? Who would die for my country except us? So we can only talk. That’s why they invited me for talks, I will go,” Duterte said.

Duterte also clarified that his statement during one of the Presidential debates that he’ll ride a jet ski to Scarborough Shoal and plant a Philippine flag on one of the reclaimed islands in South China Sea is a mere assertion of asserting sovereignty but shouldn’t be expected literally.

“Do you really think I’d go there riding? I don’t even own a jet ski. It was a hyperbole. You can’t expect me to ride. I don’t even know how to swim. If it overturns, you lose a president along the way,” he said.

Meanwhile, a fisherfolk group urges the Chief Executive to prioritize their rights to fish along the radius of the Scarborough shoal.

“President Duterte should not beat around the bush and directly ask China of the important things concerning our sovereign right. It ks the most doable and could be achieved in a shortest term, which is to respect the rights of our Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal,” Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) chairperson and former Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap said.

VIDEO: UNDERSTANDING DUTERTE'S GAME - JOSE ALMONTE EXPLAINS

 
https://youtu.be/P7JqsivkQuQ
This video are for smart people who want to better understand Duterte's moves The Storyteller The Storyteller Subscribe6,873 Add to Share More 85,346 views 416 19 Published on Oct 6, 2016 This video is meant for serious thinkers and not for the tsimosos and tsimosas who only like political telenovelas. Whether you are pro or anti Duterte, this video will help you understand Duterte's game. Jose T. Almonte who is a Former National Security Advisor and Director-General of the National Security Council helps make us understand the Duterte Strategy.


PHILSTAR

Home from China: Duterte underscores mutual respect in 'separation' from US (philstar.com) | Updated October 22, 2016 - 2:04pm 12 838 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ahead of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. China and the Philippines have agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders. Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte has underscored the value of mutual respect for a sovereign nation and the dignity of Filipinos in pushing for an independent foreign policy for the Philippines.

As he arrived Friday night from his state visit to China, Duterte said that his latest pronouncement on separation from the US should not be taken as severing ties with America.

He said there will be no severance of ties with the US.

“It’s not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties, you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that. Why? It’s to the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship. Why? Because there are many Filipinos in the United States… Americans of Filipino ancestry. Why? Because the people of my country are not ready to accept,” he explained.

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He added that severing diplomatic ties with the US is not feasible. “Why? Because the Filipinos in the United States will kill me,” he said in jest.

No puppet

Duterte further explained that what he was referring to was a foreign policy that need not dovetail with the foreign policy of America.

He noted that in the past, the Philippines has always followed the cue from the United States. “We follow. Pasunod-sunod tayo. Hindi ako magsunod (We always follow. I will not follow),” he said.

Mutual respect

Duterte aired his sentiments on why he has been negatively treating the US and pushing for a foreign policy free from the dictates of the US.

He has been lashing out at US officials for criticizing his campaign to rid the Philippines of corruption, bring down the incidence of crime and address problems on illegal drugs.

He even reminded the US about an incident in Davao in 2002 involving American Michael Terrence Meiring which the president termed as an affront to Philippine sovereignty.

“It has not really appeased me at all. Binastos tayo ng Amerika (America disrespected us),” he said.

After an explosion at the Evergreen Hotel on May 16, 2002, Meiring was spirited out of the Philippines, skipping government protocol.

Until now, he said, no US government official has ever shown the results of their full-scale investigation after then ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone promised to do so.

“To this day, parang Batman and Robin mystery ‘yan (it’s like a Batman and Robin mystery),” Duterte told reporters.

“I’ve been waiting for that report but until now, I haven’t so I really did not know what was the mystery about,” he added.

Had it happened to America, they would raise hell for violating their sovereignty, he said.

“They will go to war. Kung tayo ginagawa nila sa atin (they have been doing that to us), there wasn’t even an apology for anything,” he added.

“Is that respect? Mutual respect?” the president asked.

“Tapos sabihin ninyo, (And then you would say,) America lives by the values of what? Whose value is it? Your value? Our values? Because if there is one thing that they did not really want, you know, if there is one thing that the Americans have failed miserably, it is upholding human dignity," he said.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

US backs Philippines-China talks By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 24, 2016 - 3:50pm 0 31 googleplus0 0


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affair Daniel Russel issues his statement to reporters after meeting with Philippine officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs in suburban Pasay, south of Manila, Philippines on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. Russel has said that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about his government's intentions have sparked consternation in the U.S. and other governments and in the business world. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — The United States (US) supports direct dialogue negotiations between the Philippines and China in settling the South China Sea dispute, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said on Monday.

Russel met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. to discuss various issues including President Rodrigo Duterte's recent state visit to China.

"The Foreign secretary briefed me on the important visit by President Duterte to China that recently concluded and I reiterated that the United States welcomes a relaxation in relations between Beijing and Manila," Russel said in a televised press conference.

Russel added that the US supports dialogue between the two countries as long as it is consistent with international law and within terms acceptable to the Philippines.

He stressed, however, that improved relations between Manila and Beijing should not come at the expense of Washington.

"That's not the way that we think about it. This should be addition and not subtraction. We don't want countries to have to choose between the US and China," Russel said.

The US wants countries to be able to choose and to make their own decisions in keeping international law, the American executive said.

'Succession of controversial statements' Russel also expressed concern over the "succession of controversial statements" from the president about his intentions which has "created a consternation in a number of countries."

"This is not a positive trend and as I candidly shared with the Foreign Secretary [Yasay], your friends are also concerned about the loss of life in connection with the counter-narcotics campaign," Russel said.

US SUPPORTS DU30's WAR ON DRUGS

The American executive said that the US government also supports the Duterte administration's campaign against the illegal drug trade.

Despite supporting the Philippines' war against drugs, the US warned that the government should respect the rights of citizens given the spate of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.

"I also reiterated that importance that we place and that others place for due process and respect for rights of citizens as an important part of protecting our communities as well. And the growing uncertainty about this and other issues is bad for business as well," Russel said.

"So let me end where I began by strongly reaffirming America's enduring bond of friendship, respect, and shared value with the people of the Philippines," the American executive said.

RELATED: Duterte underscores mutual respect in 'separation' from US


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