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Duterte won’t attend Trump inauguration
US President-elect Donald Trump has been compared to President Rodrigo Duterte because both of them are known for their frank and provocative statements that often stir controversies. File
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte won’t attend the inauguration of incoming US President Donald Trump on January 20, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said heads of state do not usually attend the inauguration of new US presidents.
“It is not customary for heads of states to attend the US inauguration because it is a domestic event,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB Sunday.
Andanar said the Philippines’ representative to the event would be the Ambassador of the Philippines to the US.
“Customarily, the head of mission or the ambassador is the representative of our country. Because this is totally a domestic event, Americans will be there to celebrate the inauguration,” he said.
In an interview with reporters in Davao City, later on, Andanar said he and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon would attend Trump’s inauguration.
Trump shocked pollsters and the US mainstream media when he defeated former US State Secretary Hillary Clinton during the heated presidential race last November.
The real estate tycoon turned politician has been compared to Duterte because both of them are known for their frank and provocative statements that often stir controversies.
Duterte, for instance, has lambasted the US, the European Union and the United Nations for criticizing his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs. He has also labeled as “stupid” human rights advocates who are critical of his anti-narcotics campaign and has badmouthed the Catholic Church for opposing the distribution of contraceptives.
Trump, meanwhile, has labeled some journalists as “dishonest” and has made inflammatory statements against illegal immigrants, Muslims and Mexicans.
Last month, Duterte said he is optimistic that can get along well with Trump, saying he has a lot of similarities with the next US president.
The Philippine leader is also optimistic that the strained relationship between Manila and Washington would improve under the Trump administration.
Duterte said Trump even invited him to have coffee in Washington or New York during their phone conversation last month.