MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine president is alone with the female US State Secretary in a room that looks like one in Malacañang.
The top diplomat of the world's most powerful nation initially laughs off uncomfortable advances from the leader of an important treaty ally.
But when he goes too far, she snaps, punches him on the face, and leaves him a bloodied nose.
This is how hit political drama series Madam Secretary teases its latest episode that plays into current dynamics in both countries.
"I clobbered a world leader instead of saving a major regional agreement," actress Téa Leoni, who plays fictional US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, shares to her husband, played by Tim Daly, doubting if she did the right thing.
But her staff feels she should expose the impropriety of the fictional Philippine president Datu Andrada, played by actor Joel de la Fuente.
The latest episode of the third season of Madam Secretary, the CBS political drama, plays into real-life controversies and dynamics of the two treaty allies.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly been accused before of impropriety with women.
The US, meanwhile, is seeking to keep close ties with the Philippines as it protests China's aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea.
It airs on Sunday, March 12. – Rappler.com