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Will work with new elected leader of Philippines: US

first_imgFrom Lalit K JhaWashington, May 11 (PTI) The US today said it is looking forward to working with the newly-elected leader of the Philippines who during his election campaign had advocated extra-judicial killings to get rid of crime and drug rackets.While the official verdict is yet to come, Rodrigo Duterte, the Mayor of Davao City has emerged as the winner in all the unofficial results.”Were still awaiting the official results from officials in the Philippines. We look forward to congratulating and working with the winners of those elections on our active and close bilateral relationship,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.He said the US is prepared to commend the Philippines on its May 9 elections.By all accounts, those elections appear to have gone smoothly and enjoyed historically high levels of participation. Those are all indications of a vibrant democracy, he said.The White House, however, refused to comment on some of the controversial remarks of Duterte.”I dont have any comments about the campaign platforms or the rhetoric used by any of the individual candidates in the Filipino election. Well wait for the official results and we can comment more directly there about our ability to work with the winners of that election,” he said.”Obviously, weve got an important security relationship and our efforts to coordinate with the Philippines as they provide for some maritime security that has an impact on the economy here in the United States is important,” he said.Both the White House and the State Department also did not respond to questions about Duterte calling for multilateral talks to resolve some of the issues in the South China Sea.advertisement”In general, our approach to the situation in the South China Sea has been that the US is not a claimant to any of the land features in the South China Sea. But the US does believe that those that have competing claims should find a way to resolve those differences through diplomacy and through established international procedures,” he said.”That continues to be our position and we certainly encourage all parties in that region of the world to pursue their differences and resolve their differences in that way. Our interest is in making sure those differences are resolved peacefully in a way that disrupt the free flow of commerce in the region,” Earnest said. PTI LKJ KUNlast_img read more