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Duterte meets Netanyahu: ‘We share same passion for human beings’

Pia Ranada
Duterte meets Netanyahu: ‘We share same passion for human beings’
(3rd UPDATE) 'We also share the same passion of not allowing our country to be destroyed by those who have corrupt ideologies,' Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tells Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his second day in Jerusalem on Monday, September 3.

During a ceremony for the signing of agreements, Duterte remarked on how he and Netanyahu “share the same passions.”

“We share the same passion for peace. We share the same passion for human beings. But we also share the same passion of not allowing our country to be destroyed by those who have corrupt ideologies,” said the Philippine President, known the world over for a campaign against illegal drugs that has claimed thousands of lives.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of 3 agreements at around 12:30 pm Israel time before holding a “restricted meeting” and having a working lunch. (READ: Duterte in Israel: Activities, deals, delegation members)

The 3 documents signed are the following:

  • Memorandum of agreement on the employment of Filipino caregivers
  • Memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation
  • Memorandum of understanding between the Board of Investments and Invest in Israel

Filipino officials who signed in behalf of the Philippine government are Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Netanyahu, during his remarks, said he was happy to witness the signing of an agreement on Filipino caregivers as he himself has fond memories of a Filipina who helped take care of his father.

“My late father died at the age of 102. In his later years, [he] received incredible care by a caregiver from the Philippines, a woman [with] exceptional compassion and intelligence. She took care of my father everyday,” Netanyahu said.

The Israeli leader said the memorandum of agreement would slash as much as $12,000 from the expenses of a Filipino caregiver working in Israel.

Duterte’s 4-day visit in Israel has stoked controversy, with one lawmaker from Netanyahu’s party even saying Israelis may have to swallow an anti-nausea pill to stomach the Philippine leader’s presence.

Duterte drew the ire of many Jews back in September 2016 when he likened his order to kill “millions” of drug addicts and drug peddlers to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s murdering of Jews during the Holocaust.

Right after his meeting with Netanyahu, Duterte is scheduled to lay a wreath at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial center. – 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.