MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – US President Donald Trump called Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte late Saturday night, April 29.
The phone conversation took place at around 11 pm. Malacañang has yet to release details of the leaders' discussion as of posting.
At a news conference capping the Philippine hosting of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings, Duterte told reporters that he planned to urge Trump to exercise prudence on the North Korea issue. (READ: Duterte calls on North Korea, US to 'show restraint')
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go shared with Palace reporters a photo of him assisting the President in his phone conversation with the US leader late Saturday night.
The call was scheduled after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit gala dinner hosted by Duterte.
LOOK: President Duterte, assisted by SAP Bong Go, talks on the phone with US President Donald Trump. | Pic from Bong Go pic.twitter.com/qYpH3SnXIp — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) April 29, 2017
The phone conversation took place on the day Duterte hosted 9 other Southeast Asian leaders at the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings.
The US is a dialogue partner of the ASEAN, and is the oldest and most powerful ally of the Philippines. The Philippines is one of only two treaty allies of the US in Southeast Asia.
It won't be the first time for Duterte and Trump to have a phone conversation. After Trump's victory in the US presidential elections, Duterte spoke with him on the phone to congratulate him. (READ: Duterte impersonates Trump, shares their conversation)
During this call, Trump supposedly praised Duterte on his controverdial drug war.
"You're doing it right," Duterte had quoted Trump as saying.
The Philippine leader has had kind words for Trump, even describing the controversial US president as a "deep thinker." This is in stark contrast to his expletive-filled tirades against former US president Barack Obama, who had criticized his bloody war on drugs. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.