'Good rapport' between Duterte, Trump to reflect on US-PH relations: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2016 02:32 PM

The “good rapport” initially established by President Rodrigo Duterte and United States President-elect Donald Trump may soon reflect on the Philippines’ relationship with the US, a Malacañang official said Saturday.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella echoed Duterte, saying that there seems to be an understanding between the two leaders despite their strong statements.

“I believe that the relationship between President Duterte and President Donald Trump will reflect also in our relationship with America, with other nations… Ito[ng] mga leaders po natin, they may be very strong in their statements but they always have the national interest at heart,” Abella said in an interview with dzRH.

Prior to Trump's election, Duterte had repeatedly blasted the US, including outgoing US President Barack Obama, for criticizing his intensive campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte, however, said Trump wished him “success” in his war on drugs during their first phone conversation late Friday, which lasted over seven minutes.

But Abella said no concrete discussions were made regarding fears in the Philippine business sector, particularly the BPO industry.

Trump has been public about his protectionist stand which has raised fears among Filipinos employed in the BPO industry that American firms in the country will soon have to bring jobs back to the US.

"Mukhang maganda naman at secure naman ang industriya (BPO industry)...Sa ngayon, wala pong mga konkretong mga actions and wala naman silang napag-usapan pa tungkol diyan," Abella said.

(The industry seems to be in a good and secure condition. For now, there have been no discussions about that.]