Trump meets Philippines leader Duterte for the first time

President Rodrigo Roa Dutere in his speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport prior to his departure for Vietnam

Trump meets Philippines leader Duterte for the first time

Trump's exchange with Duterte on Saturday came just a day after the controversial Philippines leader claimed to have stabbed someone to death when he was 16 - a message critics suggested showed he considered himself immune to human rights criticisms.

It is not the first time the Philippines leader has claimed to have killed someone. "That's not so easy", Duterte told Putin.

Since Mr Duterte took office in June 2016, more than 7,000 people have been killed in a brutal clampdown on illegal substances, with the leader saying he would be "happy to slaughter" three million drug addicts.

Putin met with the Philippine leader on the sidelines of a regional summit here yesterday, promising not only to enhance military ties but also revitalize economic relations with the Philippines.

"First of all, let me thank you for your crucial help in our fight in Marawi a few weeks ago. How much more now that I am president?" he told a local Filipino community in Danang.

"And, according to my soldiers, the arms that you sent are very accurate and they were able to take care of the snipers that abounded and I lost more..."

"I want to pass on words of thanks from the Philippine people for the timely aid that Russian Federation provided by giving us trucks and weapons", Duterte said on November 10 as the two met on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam.

He said he initially meant to buy weapons in the U.S. but "the United States has equal authority of Congress and President, so it was not so simple". "You told me while you were leaving Russian Federation, you told me that you had to go back and install law and order to attack terrorists that's why I'd like to say that you managed to do just that", he said.

"We are ready to develop our relations, including in the military sphere", he said. What made you think that I am even planning or about to visit your country?

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, meanwhile, said the President expressed he did not want to participate in conflicts between big powers, adding he appreciated that Russian Federation had shown good faith.

Roque said Duterte has expressed concerns over the ramifications of an outbreak of hostilities in the Korean Peninsula.

"You know, they should know that we nurture gratitude.same with China, and America, and Israel".

"You are prohibited from entering (the Philippines)".

Their meeting, alongside Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, was captured in a photograph by Bong Go, special assistant to Duterte.

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