United States President Donald Trump really wants President Rodrigo Duterte to attend the US-ASEAN Summit
to be held in Las Vegas on March 14, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday.
READ: Palace says Duterte might attend summit in Vegas
He said Trump had actually invited President Duterte
to visit Washington many times before.
READ: Trump invites Duterte to US
“Before there could be an invitation, there had to be an ASEAN consensus-unanimous vote to hold an ASEAN-US Summit, which happened in Nha Trang, Vietnam, three days ago and conveyed to the White House,” Locsin said.
“Sadly for him, Trump really wants Duterte to be there. He’s invited him again and again.”
Meanwhile, Senator Ronald dela Rosa on Wednesday confirmed that his US visa had been canceled by the American government.
The former Philippine National Police chief, who was at the forefront of President Duterte’s bloody drug war, said he was told to reapply if he wanted to secure a US visa again.
“Yes. They officially answered my official query,” said Dela Rosa when asked if he was able to confirm earlier reports about the revocation of his US visa.
Trump had invited Duterte and the other ASEAN leaders to a summit, with the first invitation being conveyed during the ASEAN-US meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in November last year, and was reiterated through a letter dated Jan. 9, 2020.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Monday Duterte might attend the summit.
Earlier, Locsin said he and his ASEAN counterparts had agreed to the proposal raised by the US to hold a special summit with Trump.
He was referring to Washington’s invitation sent to the leaders of ASEAN last November after he failed to attend the summit of the regional bloc.
Trump then sent his national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, who stood in for the US during the summit.
However, while the ASEAN foreign ministers had agreed to hold the summit, a DFA source said it would still be up to ASEAN leaders if they would also attend the meeting.
“They [ASEAN] leaders will have the final say if they will attend the summit or not,” the source said.
Since he assumed the presidency in 2016, Duterte has not visited Washington and even made known his disdain for the US, particularly during the presidency of Barack Obama, whom he singled out for criticism of the country’s human rights records and the bloody anti-drug campaign of his administration. With Macon Ramos-Araneta