On April 29 of this year, President Donald Trump made a friendly phone call to President Rodrigo Duterte in order to endorse him and the perceived “progress” he has made against the drug problem in the Philippines. Reportedly, the transcript of the two controversial world leaders’ discussion is an official document by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, obtained and released on Tuesday by the online investigative journalism website The Intercept and The Washington Post (and retweeted by CNN's political commentator Keith Boykin, see below).

As expected, the conversation was absolutely chilling: Trump not only praised Duterte’s ongoing massacre, but even went on to say how much more understanding he was about the situation, compared to his predecessor Barack Obama.

Philippines mass murdering

Earlier in 2016, Duterte campaigned on a policy of essentially wiping out anyone even remotely involved with the drug trade in his country. At his inauguration, Duterte even compared himself to Hitler in a completely unabashed manner. Duterte has even gone as far as encouraging vigilante death squads in which last month, he told jobless Filipinos to kill any drug addicts they come across.

Since taking office in June of last year, Philippine national police along with local death squads have been responsible for the death of over 7,000 people. Not to mention Duterte has also used his purge as a guise to murder political dissidents. The majority of the international community considers his mass murder spree to be barbaric and has been condemned by the UN.

Amazingly enough, Duterte’s political career has been drenched in blood long before he ever took office as the Head of State. Back in 1988 when he was elected mayor of Davao City, a coastal city in the southern Philippines, Duterte was nicknamed the “Death Squad Mayor” due to his formation of the “Davao Death Squad”. According to former hitmen, the organization was a brutal group of assassins dressed in civilian clothing that would murder anyone on Duterte’s direct orders.

In fact, Duterte has bragged about carrying out some of these killings himself.

Philippines-U.S. relations

What complicates this situation is the fact that the Philippines have been a longtime military ally of the U.S. For decades now, the U.S. has given the Philippines hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons and resources. This trend continued during the Obama administration until the election of Duterte in which Obama’s State Department temporarily halted the sale of assault rifles to the Philippines due to his objection of the Filipino President’s ongoing mass killings.

In response to this, Duterte appeared to have called Obama "the son of a whore" and went on to threaten to sever ties with the U.S.

and talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he’s called his “favorite hero”, about allying himself with Russia. However, after the election of Trump, Duterte backpedaled from this statement saying he was pleased with the results of the election.