Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump have a “mutual admiration” for each other, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on September 26, 2019.
Panelo said the two leaders had the same leadership “style” which is why they share respect for each other.
In a Sept. 25 tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. said Trump conveyed his regards to Duterte whom he called “Frank Sinatra.”
The US President recalled Duterte’s rendition of “Ikaw” during Manila’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in 2017.
“At photoshoot with Pres. Trump and First Lady Melania, I shook his hand, he looked straight at me and said, ‘Say Hi to Frank Sinatra. Me stunned: ‘I admire you so much.’ He: ‘You know who I mean”’ ‘Uh.’ I remembered–Duterte joined Pilita Corales in a song at Asean. ‘I love that guy’,” Locsin said.
Asked to comment on Locsin’s story, Panelo said: “I think he (Duterte) loves him too.”
“You know if you recall the style of the President was much earlier than Trump. Bago pa nagkaroon ng Trump may Duterte na eh (Before there was Trump, there was Duterte),” Panelo said.
Duterte was elected into office in June 2016 while Trump was elected in December 2016.
“Nagulat nga tayong lahat na ganundin ang style (We were just surprised that Trump also had the same style),” Panelo said.
“Oh siyempre pag ganyan pareho ang style ninyo di meron kayong (Of course, if that’s the case that you have the same style then you have) mutual admiration society,” he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, said he would personally ask Duterte what he thought about Trump’s remark. (Azer Parrocha, Philippine News Agency)