Trump may be good for Philippines, says congressman

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  • A member of the House of Representatives in the Philippines is hoping that their common traits will

    bring together President Rodrigo Duterte and U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, according to an ABS-

    CBN report.

    ABS-CBN reported that Kabayan Party-list congressman Harry Roque believes that this will help to

    smoothen the two countries’ relationship.

    Roque said a Trump leadership "can be good" for the Philippines because the two presidents’

    temperaments are alike.

    “I think because of the personality similarities between President Trump and President Duterte —

    among others their penchant for politically incorrect i.e. sexist jokes — they could actually end up being

    best friends,” Roque said on ABS-CBN’s “Future Perfect” by ANC.

    Trump, a real-estate mogul, was elected the 45th president of the US in a stunning win against Hillary

    Clinton.

    The relationship between the Philippines and the U.S. has been testy under current American President

    Barrack Obama.

    In a speech last October, Duterte said that Obama ‘can go to hell’, and that he is considering to break up

    with U.S.

    Duterte was reacting to the U.S. government’s criticism of his deadly anti-drug campaign.

    He also lashed out anew at the European Union, saying the bloc, which has also criticized his brutal

    crackdown, “better choose purgatory, hell is filled up”.

    Since becoming president in June, Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S. and with

    Obama.

    Duterte has declared intentions to bolster relations with China and Russia as he revamps Philippine

    foreign policy that has long leaned on Washington.

    In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. had not received any official request

    from Duterte or any other Philippine official to alter any aspect of bilateral cooperation.

    “This is an alliance that is robust and that benefits both of our countries,” Earnest said. “Even as we

    protect this strong alliance, the administration and the United States of America will not hesitate to

    raise our concerns about extrajudicial killings. We remain deeply concerned by reports of widespread

    extrajudicial killings by or at the behest of government authorities in the Philippines. The use of that

    kind of tactic is entirely inconsistent with universal human rights and the shared values of our two

    countries.”

    In the ABS-CBN report, Roque said that the parallels between Duterte and Trump are "good for the

    Philippines because there is definitely political difference between Duterte and the US now, which could

    be probably assuaged by personal friendships”.

    Trump used a populist agenda to win the presidency, similar to Duterte.

    Roque said voters nowadays are also looking for politicians who do not fit the mold of "traditional

    politics.”

    “Apparently, voters everywhere and anywhere are tired of traditional politicians. They want someone

    who doesn’t fit the traditional (mold). They want someone who curses, who is politically incorrect,

    someone who says the wrong things to shock,” he said.

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