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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, May 28, 2018

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The man who called Obama an ‘idiot’ calls Trump a ‘pragmatic thinker’

Alliance with Washington

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has warmed his stance towards the U.S. after the country inaugurated a new president. > BNN

Duterte, who has earlier said he doesn’t ‘give a s**t,’ and called Obama a ‘son of a w***e’ and an ‘idiot’ after he was questioned regarding the crime war and the spate of extra judicial killings - has now showered his praise on Donald Trump. 

Expressing his support for Trump, Duterte called the U.S. President a “pragmatic thinker” and pointed out that Donald Trump simply would not have become a billionaire if he were stupid.

Addressing the Filipino community in Qatar on Saturday, Duterte said, “Trump is a realist, a pragmatic thinker.” 

The Philippines leader reportedly compared his widely-known controversial speech manner with Trump’s.

Duterte said, “You just think that you know, both of us pretend that if we're insulted, we speak that way. But they don't know that in the case of Trump, he thinks deeply.”

Duterte stated that if Trump was “stupid,” he would not become a billionaire. 

He cited the Trump Tower building in New York to prove his point.

He asked the audience, “Have you seen his building? How can he be stupid? That's true. Trump is a deep man, he just pretends otherwise. Like me, I'm not really very bright.”

Further, in a bid to strengthen ties with the U.S., Duterte is said to have given his approval for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States to hold annual Balikatan drills in May. 

The ten-day exercises will be aimed at combating terrorism and liquidating emergency situations.

Balikatan spokesman Major Celeste Frank Sayson said in a statement, "It will be scenario-based like (preparing for) a big storm hitting the Philippines or the possibility of terrorism. We can say with confidence that there will be no more military shelling, as we will focus on providing humanitarian and civilian assistance.”

The “shoulder-to-shoulder” exercises will be the first of their kind since Duterte’s inauguration.

Last year, Duterte said that he would withdraw the U.S. military contingent from the country by the end of his presidential term, in 2022.

He warned that he would not replace it with any other foreign troops.

However, now, the Philippine President has reaffirmed Manila's 70-year-old alliance with Washington.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the exercises would refocus on fighting terrorism, which he described as the Philippines' top security problem. 

The Philippines continues to battle terrorists and pirates in the conflicted south part of the country, where several groups have pledged allegiance to ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria. 

Last week, security forces clashed with Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group on a popular resort island.

 

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