By Fred M. Lobo
President Duterte took advantage of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit recently in Peru and met separately with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Here comes DU30 or “DigongBughaw”expanding his circle of influential friends as he pivots towards an independent foreign policy.
The PH president first held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi to follow through the memorandum of understanding signed by the Philippines and China during the Philippine leader’s state visit to China recently.
DU30 could have smilingly opened:”Nihaoma,Kabise!More deals and trade pa!
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. said that the two leaders agreed to fast-track trade and economic relations between their countries.
They could have whispered: “Let’s walk hand-in-hand faster so the US realizes there is no forever.”
“I am very happy to report that we are on track on this one and we will be pushing for more vigorous talks for the purpose of implementation the broad strokes that we arrived at when we signed these MOUs,” Yasay added.
Let’s talk more while the sun is rising in the East, the leaders could have also agreed.
Yasay said Duterte and Xi touched on the plight of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal and the Chinese leader assured that the fishermen will continue to have free access to their traditional fishing grounds.
Fish as you wish…but don’t be too demanding, the Chinese side could have said.
The two leaders also discussed the agricultural sector, fish culture, and the beefing up of China’s imports of agricultural products from PH.
More bananas from PH and no more going bananas, China could have assured.
“They also mentioned the lifting of the ban of tourists coming over and we expect in a few weeks a marked increase in tourists coming from China,” Yasay said.
DOT welcome teams should start practicing “Huanying! Huanying”
Duterte invited President Xi to visit the country which the latter accepted.
See you in Malacañang and Binondo, XI could have assured DU30.
President Duterte also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders agreed to boost trade and friendly relations.
“Our friendship have strong Putin-tials,” DU could have told the Russian leader.
“We acknowledge that in the past somehow even as we are celebrating long years of diplomatic relationship with Russia, our relationship has not really matured, especially in the area of trade and investments and commercial relationships,” Yasay pointed out.
Expect PH to be importing and drinking more Russian vodka, and Russia trying our lambanog and tuba.
Duterte explained to the Russian leader PH-Russian relations and why it is necessary for the Philippines to engage an independent foreign policy, prompting Putin also to extend his invitation to Duterte to visit Russia.
Watch out Vladimir, “Duterte-speak” will likely wow the Russian populace.
During their meeting, Duterte vented his sentiment and justified his “belligerent” stance against the “bully and hypocrite” West, adding, “I have been looking for this moment to meet you Mr. President not only because you represent a great country but of your leadership, too.”
“Idol kita, Putin…!” DU30 apparently carefully exclaimed.
Putin, for his part, congratulated Duterte on his election, saying, “It has been your personal victory, so once again congratulations. Mr. President.”
The beginning of a warm PH-Russian friendship that the world would be watching — only in DU30’s time.
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