(Danang, Vietnam) – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met US President Donald J Trump on Saturday, November 11, during the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Ha Noi Hall, International Danang Resort.
“The meeting was warm and cordial,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during a press briefing held at the International Media Center.
“President Trump reportedly told President Duterte that he will see him tomorrow,” Roque said adding that the US leader is flying to the Philippines to attend the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila.
“The two leaders were genuinely pleased to have finally met each other in person,” Roque added.
The APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam was the first meeting between the two leaders.
President Duterte earlier mentioned that he would have an “interesting time” with President Trump noting that they “share so many ideas along the same line of problems of governance.”
Vietnamese rescued from ASG
Presidential Spokesperson Roque, in the same briefing, confirmed the rescue of three Vietnamese from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
This explains the President’s non-attendance to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) Gala Dinner last night.
“It was important for the Philippine President in fact to supervise the recovery efforts,” Roque pointed out saying that the three rescued Vietnamese are currently in the custody of the Philippine Navy.
Vietnamese authorities, Roque said, have already been informed about the latest development adding that no ransom has been paid.
SWS survey on martial law extension in Mindanao
Presidential Spokesperson Roque likewise took the occasion to express gratitude to the Filipino people’s support for the extension of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
A survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), conducted last September 23-27, revealed that 54% of adult Filipinos agreed with the President’s proposal to Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31.
“We’re certainly thankful that the majority of the Filipino people have shown support for the declaration of martial law. “ Roque noted.
Roque underscored that the declaration of martial law was necessary to deal with actual terrorism in Marawi.
“So we feel that the declaration was very much justified and we appreciate the support of the people for such a declaration,” Roque ended.###(PCO-Content)