US President Obama congratulates presumptive President Duterte

MANILA, Philippines- On Tuesday, May 17, US President Barack Obama personally congratulated presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte on his landslide victory in the 2016 National Elections though a phone call.
US President Obama congratulates presumptive President Duterte
The US president is the first world leader to directly congratulate president-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
This is the first conversation between the two leaders since Duterte’s victory in the May 9 polls. While the US president is the first world leader to directly convey his congratulations to Duterte, representatives of several countries have met up with the outspoken mayor of Davao City.

Duterte has not be officially proclaimed as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, but the partial and unofficial tally clearly shows his wide lead over closest rival, Liberal party standard bearer Mar Roxas.

A brief statement by the White House said that during the call, Obama noted that the “successful election and record voter participation” represents democracy in the country.

"The President highlighted the enduring values that underpin our thriving alliance with the Philippines and the longstanding ties between our two peoples, including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth,” the statement said.

The White House further revealed that Obama and Duterte "affirmed their interest in seeing the relationship continue to grow on the basis of these shared principles”.

Duterte will assume the country’s highest post on June 30, succeeding President Benigno Aquino III. Meanwhile, Obama will step down after 8 years as the president of the US following the elections in November this year.

Although the Philippines is one of the closest allies of the Washington in Southeast Asia, Duterte earlier indicated that he may change this.

After the US ambassador to Manila slammed Duterte for his rape remark on Australian missionary Jaqueline Hamill, the incoming president warned he is ready to cut diplomatic ties with the US and Australia.

"If I become president, go ahead and sever it (diplomatic ties),” Duterte said during a campaign trail on April.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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