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Duterte Serenades Trump: 'You Are the Light of My World'

by Jane C. Timm /
President Donald Trump toasts with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at an ASEAN Summit dinner at the SMX Convention Center on Nov. 12, 2017, in Manila, Philippines.Andrew Harnik / AP

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte serenaded his American counterpart at a gala in Manila on Sunday, telling the room that President Donald Trump made him do it.

“Ladies and gentleman, I sang uninvited," he told the crowd to laughs, "upon the orders of the commander in chief of the United States.”

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Joined by Filipino pop star Pilita Corrales, Duterte sang the love song “Ikaw," Reuters reported.

“You are the light in my world, a half of this heart of mine," starts one verse, according to the Reuters translation.

Trump is finishing up a five-country trip through Asia, stopping in Manila to attend the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic summit. The White House said Duterte and the president “briefly” discussed human rights earlier in the day in regards to Duterte’s deadly drug war, which human rights groups say has lead him to slaughter thousands without trial.

Trump, meanwhile, has praised Duterte for being tough on crime. Speaking with reporters last week, Duterte promised to tell Trump to "lay off" if he raised human rights concerns. Past U.S. presidents have publicly and privately pressed foreign leaders to cease known human rights abuses, but the president appeared to focus mostly on shared interests in his time with Duterte on Sunday.

"We've had a great relationship. This has been very successful," Trump said.

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