A Malacañan official on Saturday, December 3, expressed confidence that the Philippine – US relations will improve under the presidency of US president-elect Donald Trump.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan, indicated that relations between the Philippines and the United States may eventually improve.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte and US president-elect Donald Trump had spoken over the phone Friday night.
Abella confirmed that the two leaders had a short conversation and that the tone was overall a pleasant one.
“Ang pagkakasabi ng Presidente, ‘meron kaming good rapport,’ ang sabi is, na nagkakaintindihan sila so I believe that the relationship between President Duterte and President Donald Trump will reflect also in our relationship with America, with other nations,” Abella said.
He said that though both Trump and President Duterte are very strong in their statements, both “always take the national interest at heart.”
Abella further added, “Tuloy-tuloy po na isinasauli ng Presidente natin, ‘yun po ang kanyang goal talaga: na maisauli para sa mga Pilipino ‘yung ating sense of dignity and sense of sovereignty, na maisauli po sa atin na hindi po tayo nanlilimos sa ibang tao… may dignidad and as a nation, and people all over the world are beginning to respond to that at maganda rin po ang response ng President Trump sa atin.”
“So I believe also, pwede po natin masabi at this stage na mukhang gumaganda ang relasyon natin with the US,” he said.
According to Abella, President Duterte congratulated President-elect Trump, who, in return, wished President Duterte well and said that he understands Duterte’s sentiments regarding the sovereignty of the Philippines. Abella also indicated that President Duterte is under the impression that Trump might be a good president of the US.
On the matter of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, Abella said that the issue was not discussed by the two leaders in the same phone conversation.
“Siguro ‘yung apprehension na nanggagaling from the fact na si Donald Trump, meron siyang general policy na isauli ang mga negosyo doon sa US pero specifically regarding BPO, wala pa naman siyang direct statement, direct action,” he said, adding that the BPO industry remains secure.
According to the Palace official, President Duterte also extended his invitation to Trump to attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit, of which the US is a dialogue partner.
Abella also said Trump mentioned to President Duterte that he should let him know at once should President Duterte visit New York or Washington DC.###PND