There is a great possibility that the diplomatic relations between United States and Philippines will have a reboot following a phone call between US President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday, Dec. 2, a Palace official said on Sunday.
In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar was asked by reporters how he would assess the ties between Duterte and Trump.
The President and Trump had a 10-minute phone conversation on Friday night, extending their greetings to each other and tackling several issues.
“The conversation between President Duterte and President-elect Donald Trump went very well and it showed that there is a big possibility that we will have a reboot of relationship between the PH and United States,” Andanar said.
“President Duterte told us, mukhang magkakasundo sila ni President-elect Donald Trump and again Trump wished the President well in his campaign against illegal drugs,” he added.
According to President Duterte, Trump will support the campaign of the Philippine government against illegal drugs and at the same time respects the country’s sovereignty.
Asked to explain whether that reboot in relations would include aspects such as military aid and economic trade, Andanar said it is up to the President to decide on those issues.
The US-Philippine relation is wide-ranging and does not only include military cooperation and economic tie up but also encompasses people to people exchanges, education and many others, Andanar said.
The Palace official also tackled the ongoing operations against the Maute Group in Lanao del Sur, noting military offensive is continuing to neutralize the terrorist organization.
“Our President has also called for the cooperation of the local residents para mas madali po nating masolusyunan ang problemang terrorism diyan sa area na ‘yan,” he said.
Andanar said many concerned government agencies are working together to provide the needs of the displaced civilians.
“The entire government is helping all the victims of the current conflict happening in that area. The DSWD, the Department of Health, lahat po,” he said, adding the ARMM leadership is also extending assistance to affected residents.
Authorities have placed Davao, Zamboanga, and Cotabato under terror alert level 3 to protect vulnerable areas against retaliations from the terrorists.###PND