World

Trump gets warm reception from Duterte

MANILA: United States President Donald Trump landed in Manila yesterday to a warm reception from his host, the equally provocative Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, but also to loud calls of "Dump Trump" from left-wing protesters.

The protesters, carrying placards saying "Dump Trump" and "Down with US imperialism", were blocked by police in riot gear with shields and batons, and then showered with jets of water from a fire engine.

"Trump is the chief executive officer of the imperialist government of the US," said 18-year-old student Alexis Danday, Reuters reported.

The usually sharp-tongued Mr Duterte is likely to display his more charming side for Mr Trump as the two roll through three days of meetings as part of the week-long Asean summit.

They are set to hold bilateral talks today on violent extremism, efforts to reign in North Korea's nuclear ambitions and Mr Duterte's war on drugs.

One item that is unlikely to make it into their agenda is human rights.

"I am sure he will not take it up," said Mr Duterte, referring to the thousands of suspects killed in his bloody crackdown on the narcotics trade.

Mr Trump, he said, "cannot afford" to bring up the subject.

"We do not talk about these things because, first of all, they are not true, and second, we do not do it," Mr Duterte said.

He told reporters in Danang, Vietnam, he is expecting an "interesting time" with Mr Trump.

"I strongly suspect we will see an alpha-male bromance between the two," said Mr Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch's deputy director for Asia. - RAUL DANCEL

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