Obama's phone call to Duterte highlights their "shared commitment to human rights"
It must have been a very interesting conversation.
(SPOT.ph) U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, May 17, according to reports. It was their first conversation since the latter declared victory in the national elections. Aside from offering his congratulations to the new leader of the Republic, Obama "highlighted the enduring values that underpin our thriving alliance with the Philippines...including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth” according to a statement from the White House.
The Philippines is one of the key allies of the United States in Asia. Obama's call also affirmed the interest of the two countries "in seeing the relationship continue to grow on the basis of these shared principlies."
Duterte drew flak from both the U.S. and Australia when the former mayor made a rape 'joke' about an Australian missionary who was raped in a prison riot in Davao City in 1989. In response, Duterte reportedly said he would cut diplomatic ties with both countries.