Abe and Duterte like to be ‘more than friends’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 January) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Rodrigo R. Duterte treated each other like brothers by doing away with many protocols during the Japanese leader’s visit on Friday in Davao City, an official said.

“Well, this is what the President wanted, ‘yong friendly lang, ‘yung hindi masyado ang ano — ‘yung pormal at hindi masyado ‘yong mga protocols so that they would also feel ‘we are more than friends, we are brothers’,” Marie Banaag, Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary said in a press briefing after the Philippines-Japan Business Forum at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

Abe, his wife, Akie, and his delegation arrived in the city on Thursday evening and left on Friday noon.

The prime minister also got a glimpse of the simple life of President Rodrigo R. Duterte when he visited the latter’s house in Dona Luisa Subdivision, in Matina, Davao City at around 9a.m.

Banaag said the two leaders shared for breakfast banana blossom salad, mongo soup, fresh fruits, and rice delicacies such as biko, suman, kutsinta, puto, coffee, tea, and coconut juice.

Photos shared by Christopher ”Bong” Go of the Presidential Management Staff at around 10 a.m. showed Duterte showing Abe his bedroom.

“Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inside the simple home of Pres. Duterte. We also showed him how the rpesident enjoys the comfort of his own bed, including the old and favorite mosquito net,” Go captioned the photos.

The photos already went viral with 32,400 likes, 593 comments, 12,100 shares as of 11:23 a.m.

The two leaders proceeded to the hotel/resort after the home visit where they allowed Japanese and Filipino businessmen to have a photo opportunity with them but they left immediately after.

Duterte arrived at Waterfront in a checkered polo and Abe in white polo.

“This is the theme here that’s why…And he want them to make — to feel at home because our President is so simple especially when he’s here in Davao. He only wears polo,” Banaag said in mixed English and Filipino. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)