President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly accepted U.S. President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit Washington, Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez said on Wednesday, July 3.
In 2017, Duterte swore he would never step foot in America after a U.S. congressman said he should not be welcomed to the White House due to his lack of regard for human rights associated with his campaign against illegal drugs.
“There will never be a time during my administration that I’ll be going to America or thereafter. I’m done with that. I’ve seen America and it’s lousy,” Duterte had said.
Romualdez, during the reception of the 243rd anniversary of U.S. Independence in Makati City, told reporters: “So far, there’s no definite date, but I know that he’s going. He indicated that he would like to go, but it’s just a question of timing.”
He added that the schedule is being worked out and that the president’s visit will “definitely” push through.
Malacañang, on the other hand, said there are no arrangements yet for Duterte’s official trip to the United States or a confirmation that he would indeed go on one.
When asked if Duterte was open to visiting Washington, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo answered: “If I ask him about it, he doesn’t want to.”
However, he noted that certain “circumstances” might make Duterte reconsider.
Duterte has been asked by Trump to visit Washington several times in the past, and even received a formal letter of invitation from the U.S. leader.