Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte discusses Xi meeting, gives ‘good advice’ to Marcos in Palace visit

Bea Cupin

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Duterte discusses Xi meeting, gives ‘good advice’ to Marcos in Palace visit

MARCOS AND DUTERTE. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets former president Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on Thursday, August 3.

Presidential Communications Office

In a two-hour meeting, Marcos and Duterte talk about the meeting in China, as well as ‘other issues,’ according to Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Rodrigo Duterte paid a visit to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday night, August 2, to discuss his recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and “other issues,” Malacañang said.

Duterte discusses Xi meeting, gives ‘good advice’ to Marcos in Palace visit

“The former President likewise gave some good pieces of advice to President Marcos,” Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement but did not provide details on Duterte’s advice to his successor and Marcos’ response.

The meeting comes weeks after Duterte met with Xi in China. In that meeting, the Chinese president expressed hope that Duterte would “continue to play an important role in the friendly cooperation” of Manila and Beijing.

Duterte was accompanied by his former top Palace aides – former special assistant Senator Bong Go and former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea – during the Malacañang visit.

A video without audio sent by the Presidential Communications Office late Wednesday showed Duterte, cane in hand, being received by Marcos upon arriving at Malacañang Palace around 6:15 pm Wednesday. The meeting lasted for two hours.

Senior officials who were present upon Duterte’s arrival included Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra, who had served the Duterte administration as justice chief, and Garafil.

Malacañang said the two had a one-on-one meeting before being joined by Cabinet officials, as well as Go and Medialdea.

Marcos and Duterte had minimal interactions in the 2022 presidential campaign, even as he ran in tandem with Duterte’s oldest daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte. The former president had once rejected an electoral alliance with Marcos, accusing him of being a “weak leader.”

Meeting with senators

That same day, Marcos met with senators led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who said they reported on the Senate resolution “strongly condemning” China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea.

“The President is well aware of the stand of the Senate on the WPS issue and respects the sense of the Senate regarding this issue. We reported that the resolution was discussed together with [Foreign] Secretary Manalo so that were in the same page with the Executive,” Zubiri said on Thursday, August 3.

He added, “We didn’t dwell much on that topic as we wanted to keep the dinner a cordial and casual get together.”

On Tuesday, the Senate agreed on a modified version of the proposed resolution authored by opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros urging the Department of Foreign Affairs to call out China before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) over its continued harassment of Filipino vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

The Senate approved a resolution “strongly condemning” China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea on Tuesday, August 1. It still urged the Philippine government to pursue several courses of actions if dialogues with China do not work, including filing a resolution before the United Nations.

The UNGA brings together all members of the United Nations and is where the intergovernmental organization makes stands on pressing issues.

Marcos, whose 2022 run included a promise to continue the supposed gains of the Duterte administration, has taken a different foreign policy path from his predecessor, who forged an “independent foreign policy” that meant a pivot to China.

Marcos has resumed strong ties with the US while still maintaining close relations with China.

Despite Marcos’ January 2023 state visit to Beijing, China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, or parts of the South China Sea that are the Philippines’ territory, have not abated. Weeks after that visit, the Philippine Coast Guard said Chinese ships directed a military-grade laser towards Filipino crew, putting them in danger. This prompted Marcos to summon Chinese Ambassador Huang Xillian.

The Philippine Coast Guard has also reported near-collisions and harassment from Chinese militia.

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China has refused to acknowledge a 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling that quashed its sweeping claims over the South China Sea, despite its rhetoric of friendship towards the Philippines. – With a report from Bonz Magsambol/

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.