No fist bump for Trump

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By HE­LEN FLORES

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­clined to do the fist bump ges­ture that is pop­u­lar among Pres­i­dent Duterte and his sup­port­ers, avoid­ing crit­i­cisms of be­ing sup­port­ive of the Philip­pine leader’s war on drugs.

Philip­pine National Po­lice (PNP) chief Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ron­ald dela Rosa posted his photo with Trump in his Face­book ac­count, which he ac­com­pa­nied with the cap­tion “When Ron­ald meets Don­ald.”

The PNP chief did the fist bump while Trump in­stead flashed a thumbs-up – which he usu­ally does.

Dela Rosa met Trump on the side­lines of the 31st As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) Sum­mit and Re­lated Meet­ings be­ing held in Manila.

Trump had been warned of do­ing the ges­ture, which Duterte crit­ics claim rep­re­sents the bru­tal­i­ties of his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s bloody drug war that has claimed thou­sands of lives.

Duterte has pop­u­lar­ized a clenched fist, of­ten stuck out in front of his chest or some­times at eye level, as his trade­mark ges­ture.

Aus­tralia’s spy chief, Nick Warner, was crit­i­cized in his coun­try for do­ing the fist bump with Duterte dur­ing his visit to Manila last Au­gust.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe also did the ges­ture dur­ing a meet­ing with Duterte in Tokyo last year.

Abe, whom Duterte has called a “true friend,” has not crit­i­cized the drug war.

Duterte an au­thor­i­tar­ian leader – San­ders

US Sen. Bernie San­ders has de­scribed Pres­i­dent Duterte as an au­thor­i­tar­ian leader sim­i­lar to the lead­ers of Rus­sia, China and Saudi Ara­bia.

San­ders, who un­suc­cess­fully se­cured the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion of the Demo­cratic Party last year, made the state­ment as he mocked Trump’s visit to var­i­ous coun­tries in Asia this month.

“Well, at least Trump is con­sis­tent. Abroad, he has never met a leader of an au­thor­i­tar­ian na­tion (Rus­sia, China, Saudi Ara­bia, Philip­pines) that he hasn’t liked,” he tweeted.

“At home he shows con­tempt for the US Con­sti­tu­tion and democ­racy,” added the se­na­tor.

The other lead­ers whom San­ders re­ferred to in his tweet are Rus­sia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jin­ping and Saudi Ara­bia’s King Sal­man.

While the three other coun­tries are gen­er­ally viewed as au­thor­i­tar­ian, the Philip­pines is his­tor­i­cally de­scribed as a demo­cratic coun­try.

Saudi Ara­bia strictly fol­lows an ab­so­lute monar­chy sys­tem, while China is a one-party state.

Rus­sia, while tech­ni­cally a multi-party na­tion that reg­u­larly elects its lead­ers, has been headed by Putin or his cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev since 2000.

Duterte was elected last year and has since drawn crit­i­cisms for his hard-hit­ting and off-the­cuff re­marks, in­clud­ing curs­ing at Pope Fran­cis, for­mer US pres­i­dent Bar­rack Obama, the United Na­tions and the European Union.

De­spite los­ing the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion against for­mer sec­re­tary of state and first lady Hil­lary Clinton, San­ders re­mains one of the most pop­u­lar lead­ers in the US, ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous sur­veys con­ducted among Amer­i­can vot­ers.

Trump ap­peared to have co­zied up to Duterte fol­low­ing their var­i­ous in­ter­ac­tions.

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