THE Philippines will have to deal with an American president who sees Filipinos as freeloaders, a political analyst said after learning that Donald Trump had won the US elections.
“Trump… doesn’t have a foreign policy,” said Ramon Casiple of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform. “Relying on his campaign pronouncements, then, the Philippines will have to deal with a US president who is very much of a position that sees the Philippines as a freeloader.”
Casiple, who spoke on the sidelines of a US election-watch party at the Sofitel Plaza in Pasay City, said it was unclear how Trump would accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s independent foreign policy stance.
He said Trump could play hardball with Duterte, given his pivot away from the US and toward China.
He added that the 70 years of longstanding relationship between the US and the Philippines could be crucial, given the shifting directions in foreign policy.
The victory of Trump, a real estate developer and former reality TV host, shocked the world on Tuesday and put the United States on an uncertain path.
During the US election watch party organized by the US Embassy, diplomats, Filipino officials and university students were stunned on learning of Trump’s victory.
As soon as the electoral votes reached to 115 versus 147, in favor of Trump, the US Embassy suddenly wrapped up the party without finishing the whole count.
The auditorium turned quiet while the US Embassy staff quietly packed up. This was in contrast to the celebratory election watch in 2012, when US President Barack Obama won reelection.
US Embassy press attaché Molly Koscina said they were looking forward to working with the President-elect and the transition team to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.
“In our democratic system, the American people are responsible for deciding who the next President will be. We look forward to working with the President-elect and the transition team to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, as the State Department has done with each new President for well over 200 years,” she said.
US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Klecheski said he was confident that the American’s “extremely strong” ties with Filipinos will continue.
University of the Philippines professor and maritime expert Jay Batongbacal said a Trump presidency would be “more withdrawn in foreign affairs and less proactive in Asia.”
“That means less unwanted attention for Philippine affairs which would be good news for President Duterte,” he said.
But he also warned that with Trump’s “isolationist and anti-immigrant attitudes” will cause a backlash against Filipinos living in the US.
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