Trump invites Philippines President Duterte to White House

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin arrive at the Treasury building on Friday

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin arrive at the Treasury building on Friday

Last week a Filipino lawyer filed a complaint at the global criminal court (ICC) accusing Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials of mass murder and crimes against humanity.

The White House said they also talked about the ongoing tensions with North Korea, and the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose leaders met this weekend in Manila.

"It would be good for America to just restrain a little bit and if I were President Trump, I'll just back out, not really in surrender and retreat, but just to let the guy realize that, 'ah, please do not do it, ' Duterte added".

A few hours before the phone call, Duterte had implored the United States to show restraint toward North Korea, saying the two nations are "playing with their risky toys".

The North Korea crisis was also raised.

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The White House did not dive into the specifics of Duterte's anti-drug campaign other that the Philippines is "fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs".

The visit will be a chance "to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction", a statement from the White House said.

Duterte has faced worldwide condemnation for his brutal crackdown on crime, which has claimed thousands of lives and led to warnings from rights groups about a possible crime against humanity.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte started his drug crackdown after assuming office last June.

On Sunday, three Chinese navy ships, including a guided-missile destroyer and a guided-missile frigate, were welcomed in Davao city, Duterte's southern hometown, by officials, including presidential daughter and city Mayor Sarah Duterte, military officials said. "Who am I to say that you should stop?" said Duterte rhetorically. "And we have to caution everybody, including those who would give the advice to the two power players - because here there are nuclear warheads - to just show restraint", he said. "He understood the way we are handling it and he said there is nothing wrong with protecting your country".