Trump Phones Duterte: “I just wanted to congratulate you of the unbelievable job on the drug problem”

A President friendly call to his fellow president blasted a huge controversy.

President Donald Trump of the United States of America voiced out his praise to the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on a phone call.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs produced an official transcript of the call on April 29 which was obtained by The Intercept.

(Trump told Duterte that he is a good man and that the Philippine President is doing an amazing job. )

The exclusive call began by Trump telling Duterte that he doesn’t sleep much just like him, then the talk slowly progressed to the strongman’s drug war.

 “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte.

“Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that”, Trump added.

“Thank you Mr. President,” replied Duterte. “This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.”

On the same call, Trump mention about his predecessor in the White House of not understanding what the Philippine President’s real intention about his movement regarding drugs. “I understand that, and fully understand that, and I think we had a previous president who did not understand that but I understand that and we have spoken about this before”.

Obama once criticized Duterte’s killings which made the Duterte call the then U.S President “son of a whore” and an “idiot” who “can go to hell.”

Duterte even said in his speech in Beijing on October, “America has lost now. I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow. And maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world: China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way”.

But the wrangle has been tamed off when Trump was elected. “I don’t want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won.” Said Duterte. He thanked Trump for his sentiments on Obama.

The said friendly call however culminated an invitation for an Oval Office meeting. “To endorse Duterte is to endorse a man who advocates mass murder and who has admitted to killing people himself,” said John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, reacting to the transcript. “Endorsing his methods is a celebration of the death of the poor and vulnerable.

Duterte’s police killings are widely recognized by the international community as an ongoing atrocity. The “war on drugs” has drawn disapproval from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, and last month a Philippine lawyer filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing Duterte of mass murder and crimes against humanity. The State Department’s annual human rights report acknowledges thousands of “extrajudicial killings” with impunity and calls them the country’s “chief human rights concern.”

The U.S. government does not provide lethal weapons directly to the Philippine National Police, which has a decades long history of extrajudicial killings. Despite human rights concerns, the U.S. has long considered the Philippines a military ally, and under Obama the U.S. gave the country’s military tens of millions of dollars in weapons and resources per year. But it does allow U.S. weapons manufacturers to sell to them directly. In 2015 the State Department authorized more than $250 million in arms sales from U.S. defense contractors to security forces in the Philippines.

Source: The Intercept, NY Times