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Duterte praises Trump, calls him a deep thinker

DOHA, Qatar – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte praised US President Donald Trump as a "realist" deep thinker, saying Trump couldn't have been a billionaire if he were stupid.

"Trump is a realist, a pragmatic thinker," Duterte said in his meeting with the Filipino community in Qatar that started 6 pm on Saturday, April 15 in Doha (11 pm in Manila).

"Akala mo lang puro, you know, pareho kami 'yung pakunwari lang na 'pag binastos diyan ganu'n magsalita. Pero hindi nila alam nag – 'yung si Trump lang nag-iisip nang malalim 'yan," the President said.

(You just think that, you know, both of us pretend that if we're insulted, we speak that way. But they don't know that in the case of Trump, he thinks deeply.)

"Hindi 'yan maging bilyonaryo (Trump wouldn't become a billionaire if he were stupid)," he added.

Referring to the Trump Tower that is 68 floors high in New York, Duterte said, "Kita mo 'yung building niya? Paano ka maging bobo?" (Have you seen his building? How can he be stupid?)

"Totoo. Si Trump, malalim 'yan, kunwari lang. Kasi pareha ko, hindi man ako talagang bright na bright," he said before a laughing crowd. (That's true. Trump is a deep man, he just pretends otherwise. Like me, I'm not really very bright.)

Mimicking Trump, Duterte recounted his phone conversation with the US leader late in 2016. Duterte said Trump told him, "You are doing it right."

Duterte earlier said he and Trump remain on good terms, in stark contrast to his relationship with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who had criticized Duterte's war on drugs.

Both known for their controversial language, Duterte has been branded the Trump of the East while Trump has been called the Duterte of the West. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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