MANILA- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his American counterpart Donald Trump "really hit it off" during the gala dinner for the golden anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a Malacañang official said.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said judging from the body language of the 2 leaders, it appeared that Duterte and Trump got along well and noted that Duterte's hostile words against former US President Barack Obama is already a "thing of the past."
"I think the issue between the President Duterte and the former President Barack Obama is a thing of the past. Bago na ang administrasyon ngayon [ng] Amerika. Kita naman natin sa body language ng dalawang lider (Duterte and Trump) nagkakasundo sila. They really hit it off," Andanar told reporters Monday.
(This is a new administration in America. We can see from the body language of the 2 leaders (Duterte and Trump) that they get along well.)
Andanar also praised Trump's warmness, saying he noticed that the American leader "loves" the Philippines.
"Hindi lang napakaganda ng kaniyang ngiti, pag dating sa aming cabinet members game na game siya makipag-selfie sa amin. He would really take his time to talk to us. He is really an iconic figure and meeting him in person, nakita ko na he loves the Philippines," Andanar said.
Several analysts have drawn supposed similarities between Duterte and Trump, with Duterte being called the "Filipino Trump,” and Trump the “American Duterte.”
Duterte, during Sunday's gala dinner sang upon the request of Trump.
They first met each other in person on Saturday in Vietnam, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
-report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News