MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte met with the chief of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) on Wednesday, August 23, as Washington seeks better ties with the Duterte administration.
Admiral Harry Harris Jr, commander of the US Pacific Command, held the meeting with Duterte in Malacañang on Wednesday.
Joining the meeting from the Philippine side were Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año.
From the American side, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim led other representatives in Wednesday’s meeting.
The meeting comes as Duterte slams the US for supposedly interfering in his war on drugs, while the Philippine leader strengthens ties with China. (READ: Duterte admin 'independent' from U.S., 'bullied' by China?)
Also on Wednesday, Duterte received officers of the China Communications Construction Company.
This meeting was also attended by Cayetano, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia.
In his meeting with the Chinese company, Duterte said that the Philippines really needs China's help, as his country faces problems with traffic and lack of viable infrastructure. – Rappler.com
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 email@example.com.