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Trump may be good for Philippines, says congressman

Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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.