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LOOK: Going strong! US envoy says partnership with PH still ‘ironclad’ after meeting Duterte

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President Rodrigo Duterte met with United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim Wednesday (September 12) as Washington seeks closer ties with Manila in the face of China’s growing might in the Southeast Asian region.

In a tweet, Kim said he and Duterte “shared goals including defense priorities and economic partnership.”

“Our alliance remains strong and ironclad,” he said.

Duterte’s meeting comes weeks after he turned down the US’ offer to supply F-16 fighter jets to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The President said in an August 23 speech that the Philippines does not need fighter planes, but rather attack helicopters.