MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said it hopes Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s would not sow “biased information” during his visit to the US, which was reportedly meant to convince US senators to discourage US President Donald Trump from proceeding with his trip to the Philippines.
US Senator Marco Rubio has confirmed meeting Trillanes. He said they talked about the US-Philippines alliance, combating corruption and protecting human rights amid the Philippine government’s illegal drug crackdown.
"We do hope the correct information has been given and not biased information designed to adversely affect Philippines-US relations,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a news conference.
Abella added the Palace is not privy to information that Trillanes went to the US to ask some sectors to convince Trump not to visit the Philippines and meet with Duterte.
Trump is expected to visit the Philippines in November for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. A bilateral meeting between the two leaders has also been set, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said.
The US leader’s visit to the Philippines is a part of his 5-nation Asian tour, his first as president. He will also visit Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam.
Early in his tenure, Trump courted controversy by praising Duterte for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem" -- despite warnings from human rights groups.
Duterte's crackdown on alleged drug dealers has seen the police kill an estimated 3,850 people in 15 months.
Both men have shocked with their use of salty and threatening language in speeches, but their budding alliance has come under strain in recent months.
Duterte had been angered by a US Congress hearing where various advocate groups assailed his war on drugs, and in July he described the United States as a "lousy" place. - with AFP