Alpha-Male Bromance' Solidified as Trump Vows Support for 'Bloodstained' Duterte

The Latest: Trump lands in Philippines, final stop in Asia

Philippine demonstrators have torched a giant paper statue of US President Donald Trump in protest against "American imperialism" on Monday as demonstrations against the US leader entered their fourth day during the 31st ASEAN summit in the Philippine capital Manila.

They are expected to hold one-on-one talks on Monday and, if Trump does not bring up any human rights concerns, Duterte is widely expected to trumpet the meeting as an endorsement.

A spokesman for Duterte, however, said "there was no mention of human rights" and "no mention of extralegal killings".

Duterte, 72, past year branded then-US president Barack Obama a "son of a whore" for criticizing the drug war.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders meanwhile said the issue was discussed by the two leaders.


Duterte sang a duet of the song "Ikaw" with singer Pilita Corrales during Sunday night's gala dinner at the summit in Manila.

During the bilateral meeting, Trump cited the "great relationship" between the USA and the Philippines and thanked the host country for "the great treatment you have given us". "It was President Duterte who brought up with President Trump the drug menace in the Philippines, and the USA president appeared sympathetic and did not have any official position on the matter but was merely nodding his head".

The handshake chain is a set piece of gatherings of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), who are meeting with leaders from China, the US, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, India, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

"Foreign leaders should recognise that the fist. symbolises a purposeful attack by Duterte on rule of law that has inflicted a human rights calamity on thousands of Filipinos", Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director, told AFP.

Trump was supposed to join hands with Vietnam's Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan, and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, but instead ended up cradling Nguyen's hand with both of his - breaking the line in two.

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