MANILA – While he is ready to talk to US President Barack Obama and touch on human rights and security issues during an international summit to be attended by world leaders next week, President Rodrigo Dutere also said he is looking forward to meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Gusto ko si Putin (I like Putin)," Duterte said on Wednesday on the sidelines of his meeting with Filipino workers repatriated from the Middle East at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
"Pareho kami…baka sa girls (We're very similar…probably when it comes to girls," he jokingly told reporters during an interview.
The two leaders were recently featured in international news network CNN's "Who said it" quiz along with US presidential aspirant Donald Trump.
In the quiz, the network asked its readers to match the "controversial, shocking remarks" to the "strongman" politician.
READ: Duterte featured in CNN's 'Who said it' quiz
Like Duterte, Putin is considered a strong leader. He was number one on Forbes' 2015 Powerful People list, as he is "powerful enough to do what he wants and get away with it."
Similarly, he has also received criticism from international human rights watchdogs for measures in Russia which, advocates said, curtail freedom of expression, and tolerate enforced disappearances.
Last year, Putin decided not to attend the ASEAN summit held in Manila, and was instead represented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.