MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday made a congratulatory phone call to American President-elect Donald Trump.
Presidential assistant Bong Go took to Facebook to share some photos of Duterte while making a phone call to his U.S. counterpart.
Go described the phone call as “engaging” and “animated.”
He said the two world leaders were in good mood during the call. They are looking forward to seeing each other at the ASEAN Summit next year.
In a speech earlier this month, Duterte appeared to have changed his outlook of the Philippines’ long-time security ally when he pointed out “similarities” between him and the incoming U.S. president.
“Ayaw kong makipag-away kasi nandyan na si Trump. I would like to congratulate President Trump. Mabuhay ka!” Duterte said in a speech before the Filipino community in Malaysia.
“Pareho tayo nagmumura. Konting rason lang, mura kaagad. Medyo pare-pareho kami."
(I don’t want to fight now that Trump’s there. I would like to congratulate President Trump. May you live, Mr. Trump! We both curse at the slightest of reason. We are alike.)
The phone conversation could signal an improvement of ties between the US and the Philippines, two long-time allies in the Pacific.
The US, under outgoing President Barack Obama, has been at the receiving end of Duterte’s many rants over what he believes was Washington’s intervention in Manila’s internal affairs.
Duterte has particularly hit the US for its criticisms to his war on drugs and its supposed threat of cutting aid to the Philippines.