US congratulates Duterte on his victory and wants to deepen ties

Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has been congratulated by United States last Thursday. They said that they are looking forward to deepen the US- Philippine ties with his upcoming administration.

Washington took the rare step of offering congratulations even though a winner has not been officially declared in Monday's election, which an unofficial count by an election commission-accredited watchdog showed Duterte easily won.

While the United States closed its bases in the Philippines in 1992, it plans to send US troops and equipment there on regular rotations and the two countries have begun joint patrols in the South China Sea as China asserts its territorial claims. 

While Duterte has been criticized for allowing a spree of vigilante killings in Davao city, where he has served as mayor for more than two decades, the United States has made clear this week that it plans to work with him. 

"The United States offers its sincerest congratulations to the people of the Philippines on the conclusion of the May 9, 2016 general elections, and to the presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte," Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said in a statement.

"The United States looks forward to continuing to deepen our bilateral partnership with the new administration as we address common challenges and issues of mutual interest."

Source: Reuters

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