Philippines-US alliance remains ‘strong, ironclad’ under Duterte, says envoy 

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The alliance between the United States and the Philippines remains “strong and ironclad” despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s continued courting of non-traditional allies like China and Russia, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said.

Duterte and  Kim met in Malacañang on Wednesday to discuss “shared goals, including defense priorities and economic partnership” of both countries.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the meeting was “private” while Kim described it as “excellent.”

“Our alliance remains strong and ironclad,” Kim said in a Twitter post.

The meeting between Duterte and Kim came days after the President rejected the offer of Washington to provide F-16 fighter jets and attack helicopters needed by the Philippine military.

The relationship between the Philippines and the US had been strained after Washington’s criticisms of Duterte’s brutal drug war angered the Philippine leader.

But Manila’s alliance with Washington improved after US President Donald Trump, whom Duterte described as a “good friend,”  won the elections.


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