Trump, Duterte may meet in PH in November

"As of now, President Trump for instance when President Duterte called him up to congratulate him, had already indicated that he was coming in November so at least verbally he said he was coming", Paynor, Malacanang's chief protocol officer, said in a news briefing. "But it's sometime in early May", Bolivar said, adding that the meeting is confirmed but the details are still being worked out.

In a phone call in December a year ago, President Duterte invited then President-elect Trump to the ASEAN Summit.

"Under President Trump's leadership the United States seeks trade relationships that are both free and fair".

On April 29, ASEAN leaders will also attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center.

But Duterte is not sure whether his USA counterpart would visit the Philippines.

This vote of confidence was indeed warmly welcomed by ASEAN officials, as the White House had finally given "very positive indications" about U.S. interests in the region, outgoing Indonesian permanent representative to ASEAN Rahmat Pramono said. He was referring to the leaders of nine other ASEAN members states which include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

"Multilateral meetings of this sort, we usually expect 100% attendance".

On another matter, Mr. Duterte might visit South Korea, an ASEAN dialogue partner, in the "second half of this year" - according to the Korean newspaper Maeil Business News Korea which cited Korea Importers Association (KOIMA).

He said other Asean leaders may have a "pull-aside" with the President, if their request for a bilateral meeting would not push through.

Paynor said Duterte is scheduled to meet Widodo and Bolkiah on April 28 and 29, respectively.

Meanwhile, the President is also expected to hold separate bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Sultan Haji Hassana Bolkiah of Brunei next week.

As this year's chair of ASEAN, the Philippines is host to 137 ASEAN meetings spread out during the entire year.

  • Rogelio Becker