• U.S. President Barack Obama called Duterte to convey his congratulations
  • Obama is the first head of state to call Duterte
  • Duterte said he is quite honored with Obama’s call

United States President Barack Obama spoke by phone with the incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to convey his congratulations.

“President Obama spoke by phone today with presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to convey his congratulations. President Obama noted that the successful election and record voter participation were emblematic of the Philippines’ vibrant democracy,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday, May 17.

As noted in an Inquirer article dated May 18, 2016, the White House said President Obama, in his call to Duterte, “highlighted the enduring values that underpin our thriving alliance with the Philippines, including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth.”

“The two leaders affirmed their interest in seeing the relationship continue to grow on the basis of these shared principles,” the White House statement added.

President Obama, according to Duterte, is the first head of state to call him.

Asked what he felt with President Obama’s call, Duterte said: “Yes, of course. He’s the President of the United States. I am quite honored.”

While Obama was the first head of state to congratulate Duterte for his victory, emissaries from several countries have already met with him. Ambassadors from China, Japan and Israel met the incoming president on Monday, May 16, while the ambassador from Russia is scheduled to meet with the presumptive president on Wednesday, May 18.

Duterte has yet to be officially proclaimed the winner of the recently concluded presidential elections, but partial and unofficial count showed him with almost 7 million votes ahead of his nearest contender, administration bet Mar Roxas, who has already conceded.