MALACAÑANG shrugged off Wednesday the latest tirade by United States-based newspaper, the New York Times (NYT), against President Rodrigo Duterte, who received invitation from United States President Donald Trump to visit him at the White House in Washington D.C.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella merely brushed aside the NYT Editorial Board's May 1 article titled "Donald Trump embraces another despot," which was an apparent reference to Duterte.
Abella dismissed as just "American concern" and the international news firm's emphasis that Trump's decision to invite Duterte to the White House makes people worry "about the very survival of values on which America built its reputation and helped construct and entire international system, including the United Nations."
"That is an American concern at this stage, okay?" Abella told reporters.
"But as far as we're concerned, even as the POTUS (President of the United States) has said, he finds that there is a strategic need for [good relations] with the President at this stage," he added.
The NYT, in its editorial piece, slammed Trump for inviting Duterte to visit him at the White House, citing the Philippine president "is obviously not a man who should be welcomed to the White House."
It said the Philippines may have become an ally of the US but Duterte "is neither a democratic leader nor a worthy ally" because of his anti-drugs crackdown that killed thousands of people, as well as his profanity-laced rhetoric against the US.
"American presidents must work with foreign leaders of all kinds to advance national interest. But Mr. Trump erodes America’s reputation when he uncritically embraces those who show the least regard for human rights, rule of law and democracy," it said. (SunStar Philippines)