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Trump Meets With Duterte, Gets Serenaded

by Countable | 11.13.17

What’s the story?

During President Donald Trump’s whirlwind trip of Asia, he met with controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — who crooned a hit Filipino love song:

When he was finished with the song (which included the lyrics "You are the light in my world, a half of this heart of mine"), Duterte told the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited, upon the orders of the commander-in-chief of the United States.”

Why does it matter?

First, because controversial heads of state singing is always entertaining. Here’s Putin belting out "Blueberry Hill":

But also: Some condemned Trump’s visit with Duterte because of the Philippine president’s human rights abuses. As The Guardian explained, "More than 3,900 Filipinos have been killed in a war on drugs that Duterte declared when he took office last year. His government says the police act in self-defense, but critics say executions are taking place with no accountability."

Organizations condemning Duterte’s human rights violations include the European Union, United Nations, Human Rights Watch — and U.S. Congress. And in May, the Senate introduced the Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017.

Last week, Duterte said he would tell Trump to "lay off" if he raised the issue of human rights when they met.

The issue, however, did not come up during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gala, where Duterte and local pop diva Pilita Corrales sang Ikaw ("You") at the dinner in Manila. This wasn’t surprising, given that Trump praised Duterte in May for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

And as the L.A. Times reported, "Trump ignored reporters’ questions about human rights and instead focused on the hospitality." Following the summit (and serenade) Trump applauded Duterte: “Rodrigo, I would like to commend you on your success as ASEAN chair at this critical moment in time, and in the association’s history.”

"And the show last night, the talent at that show - I assume mostly from the Philippines - was fantastic. And you were fantastic."

Because of his brash style, Duterte has been nicknamed the "Trump of the East." Which may be unfair to Trump, as, last week, Duterte bragged: "At 16, I killed someone. Just over a look".

What do you think?

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump briefly discussed human rights with Duterte, but a Philippine spokesperson said "that issue was not raised."

Given Duterte’s human rights violations, should Trump – and Congress – take a harder line against the country? Should the Senate get moving on the Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017? Is it the responsibility of America to police human rights around the world? Hit Take Action, tell your reps, maybe record a video of you singing a song to send them, then share your thoughts below.

— Josh Herman

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Leave a comment
(27)
  • Sheryl
    11/13/2017
    ···

    It’s obvious leaders of every nation have figured out what levers to pull on Trump to get him to hit 777 and spit out whatever they want. If the US Intelligence agencies consider him a risk to national security then WHY are we keeping him in office?!?!😬

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  • Jakobhalphin
    11/13/2017
    ···

    People are gonna be mad if trump is passive with someone or if he’s strict with someone. It’s not even what he does at this point, they just hate the man

    Like (23)
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  • Mark
    11/13/2017
    ···

    How is it that the supposed leader of the free world, Donald J Trump is best buddies with ruthless dictators, oligarchs, brutal regimes and thugs? Duterte? Putin? Saudi Arabia? If it was 1941 he would probably be playing golf with the likes of Mussolini and Hitler. His actions and words demonstrate a man who has no respect for the constitution, the United States, our men and women in uniform as well as our intelligence agencies and their employees who have sacrificed their bodies and lives to preserve our security and freedom. How can the GOP continue to support such actions? An R next to your name does not make a person infallible, and a D does not make a person evil. Do your job, protect the United States, and impeach and prosecute Donald J Trump and his collaborators for obstruction of justice and treason.

    Like (13)
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  • Chuck
    11/13/2017
    ···

    The whole world is playing trump for the fool he is

    Like (9)
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  • KansasTamale
    11/14/2017
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    I am SO EMBARRASSED AND MAD AS HECK that Trump actually met this horrible dictator and never said a word about him having his people killed. AND WORSE -NOT CALLING HIM OUT. TRUMP IS A DICTATOR WANNABE AND THE COUNTRY IS GOING THAY WAY. WAKE UP!!!! AMERICA.

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  • Paul
    11/14/2017
    ···

    Is Trump a fool? Yes, and every adversarial eastern government leader knows it and is playing him for one. Even Nixon wasn't this bad! Trump is all ego and no intellect, and undeserving of the office into which he was installed by the antiquated electoral college. He should not be representing this nation's interests abroad. On second thought, he isn't representing our nation's interests, just his own....

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  • Countryfirst
    11/14/2017
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    Is anyone surprised that our dictator finds the company if other dictators and murderers enjoyable? The world knows what an idiot in chief we have in the WH!

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  • Christopher
    11/14/2017
    ···

    If anyone remembers why the US closed their base after 1991 at Subic Bay it was because of popular loss of confidence with the US over our long time support of Ferdinand Marcos. A return to that policy may result in something far worse this time including a take over by a more adversarial regime altogether. Let the Philippines sort out their problems and we’ll sort out our own with our leadership.

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  • Ticktock
    11/13/2017
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    I wish Trump would stay in the Philippines where he’s loved sooooo much.

    Like (3)
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  • Joanne
    11/14/2017
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    What the hell are we waiting for??!! Impeach trump NOW. How long must this go on???!!!

    Like (3)
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  • James
    11/14/2017
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    Dutuerte goes after ISIS and Al Queda and drug runners in his country with a passion! That's a good thing! He also hates communists! Now that's a friend!

    Like (3)
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  • Lee
    11/14/2017
    ···

    It is tragic to see the divisiveness in this Country. Give President Trump a chance to Govern. I never saw the level of vitriol and hate for this man. Mr Trump is not perfect but he is OUR President and he is doing far better than former Presidents Obama and Bush. The left wing fake news media never give him credit for anything.

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  • Christine
    11/13/2017
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    What a disgrace.

    Like (2)
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  • Ureeka
    11/14/2017
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    If there is an opportunity to improve our international relations and quell human rights violations, he needs to make the effort. Libs need to get over being "serenaded." That's not why Trump is there in the first place.

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  • Alex
    11/13/2017
    ···

    It’s perfect. 2 men with overinflated egos meet and fall in love, with music to back it all up. At what point do we just take the doggy door out of the White House, and keep Trump inside? Clearly people know exactly how to manipulate him, as proven by Putin, Kim Jong Un, and now this

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  • Gerald
    11/14/2017
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    He is an entertainer not a president. Murder people without arrest or trial like Duarte...Trump only wishes. We have no moral high ground left after trump called the judicial system a joke and praised Gitmo for prisoners. What could Trump say? Buy more weapons from us I suspect. A piece of work.

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  • Donna
    11/14/2017
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    You must speak out and criticize Trumps relationship with this horrible man! Grow a spine, Senator Portman!

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  • Chuck
    11/14/2017
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    Not our problem. One reason we have so many enemies is we are constantly getting in their business.

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  • Leon
    11/17/2017
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    Trump’s is a fan of every world leader that’s willing to murder, and all the worlds dictators,

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  • Brian
    11/14/2017
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    Gay

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