Philippines president declares martial law on Mindanao

Posted May 24, 2017

"Duterte sends his deepest sympathies and concern to the families of the dead and wounded in the Manchester incident, as well as appreciation for the excellent handling by security forces", Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement sent to reporters.

He said that after his return next week from a trip to Russian Federation with Duterte he will explain the context of the two leaders' exchange to lawmakers and a Supreme Court justice, who have urged the Philippines to file a diplomatic protest over the alleged war threats and to ask the United Nations to demand that China comply with the arbitral ruling. He has also suggested he and Putin share passions such as guns and hunting.

"We condemn the continued incursion of China and the U.S.in the country's territory, especially china's threat of war".

"If they can spare us with the precision guided [bombs]", Duterte said when discussing the goal of his trip.

He will then meet Russian President Vladimir Putin - who Duterte previously described as his "favorite hero" - before hosting a gathering of expatriate Filipinos who have settled in Russia and surrounding countries.

Without specifying when or where his meeting with the Chinese president took place, Duterte said Xi had threatened to go to war with the Philippines after Duterte asserted his nation's sovereignty over the South China Sea by citing last year's arbitration tribunal ruling upholding the Philippine claim. "I've never been to their country, and when they invited me to Trump's inauguration I declined, because I was planning to visit Russian Federation". The Philippines leader stressed that China will play a key role in resolving tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear program, stating that "China is the ace". "I've never seen anything like they are but we don't have to use this but he could be insane so we will see what happens".

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Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said their meeting was frank and friendly, and the discussion was largely about preventing conflict, not threatening it.

Mr. Piñol said that Moscow has "long expressed interest in trading with the Philippines extensively, but there was not much progress in the negotiations".

In his call with Trump, Duterte similarly called drugs "the scourge of my nation", according to the transcript.

He said he will meet with the EU's envoy to Manila to discuss the issue and iron out some "miscommunication" after he returns from Russian Federation, where he will accompany Duterte on a trip next week. "Overdependence on traditional partners has limited our room to maneuver in a very dynamic worldwide arena". I want my country to be treated with dignity", he added, "Russia sells weapons, no conditions.

He said: "My visit underscores the independence of the Philippines' foreign policy and the firm resolve to broaden the horizons of friendship and cooperation with other nations".

Both leaders ended the call and later, the White House stated Trump enjoyed the conversation and extended Duterte an invite to join him in Washington.