US ‘coldness’ preventing Duterte from visiting Washington
MANILA, Philippines – The “coldness” in the United States is stopping President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Washington even after the return of the Balangiga Bells, Malacañang said Wednesday.
“What I know is he really doesn’t want to go to the US apart from whatever reasons he has in mind. He cannot stand the temperature, the coldness. He really doesn’t like it when it’s really cold,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. had earlier said Mr. Duterte would never visit the US until the historic Balangiga Bells are returned to the Philippines.
The Balangiga Bells were finally returned to the Philippines on Tuesday, 117 years after it was seized by American soldiers as war trophies.
Duterte called for the return of the bells during his 2017 State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Duterte’s relationship with the US, a longtime ally of the Philippines, turned sour during the term of former US President Barack Obama, who has criticized the Duterte administration’s brutal war on drugs.
His relationship with Washington, however, improved after Mr. Donald Trump, whom he considers his “good friend,” assumed the US presidency.
Duterte has time and again said he would never visit US again, even claiming at one time his hectic schedule was stopping him from visiting America. /kga
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