Trump, Duterte bond over shared dislike for Obama

Pia Ranada
Trump, Duterte bond over shared dislike for Obama
Duterte's spokesman says it was obvious that the two presidents have 'similar feelings' about former US president Barack Obama

MANILA, Philippines – United States President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to have bonded over one thing they have in common: a dislike for former American president Barack Obama.

Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque told media in a press briefing on Monday, November 13, that Obama figured in the talks of the two leaders during their bilateral meeting in Manila earlier that day.

“It’s very apparent that both of them have a person who they consider not their best friend,” began Roque, who was present at a portion of the meeting.

“They have similar feelings towards former US president Barack Obama,” he continued.

Earlier, Roque told Malacañang reporters that Trump made an effort to show Duterte he was nothing like Obama, who the Philippine president previously cursed for criticizing his bloody war on drugs.

“I have been your friend since I was elected. My predecessor was not your friend,” Trump supposedly told Duterte.

He also promised he could be “counted upon as a friend” by the Duterte government. (READ: Trump cites ‘great relationship’ with Duterte during 1st bilateral meeting)

Similar to Duterte who blasted Obama for supposedly lecturing him on how to properly implement his drug war, Trump also has no love for his predecessor.

Obama supported Trump’s rival for the presidency, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 US elections.

Aside from griping about Obama, the two controversial leaders cultivated rapport in previous ASEAN events like the gala dinner where Trump got Duterte to sing after hearing him hum his favorite song while it was being performed by a local artist.

The two were seated beside each other during all major ASEAN Summit events. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.