What does the Philippines think of Donald Trump?


With so many comparisons to Duterte, how do Filipinos feel about the new US president?

Image: a katz / Shutterstock.com
Image: a katz / Shutterstock.com
With Donald Trump’s victory in the bag, we take a look at Philippine sentiment regarding the new US president – a man who has so often been compared to the Philippines own, Rodrigo Duterte.

Here are some snapshots from Philippine media in the lead up to the election. As you’ll see, sentiment is largely negative – unsurprising since Trump described the Philippines as a ‘terrorist nation.’

In fact, despite trying to find balance in the snippets we shared, we were unable to find much in the way of positivity regarding Trump in the Philippine media.

Trump haters

Who will be good for us: The lady or the Trump?

The winner in the November 8 US presidential elections will undoubtedly have an impact on the lives of the four million US-based Filipinos and consequently, US-Philippine relations. A Trump win would be bad for the Philippines. He said he will put an immigration ban on countries like the Philippines because of its “history of terrorism.” The BPO industry could also be affected with his promise to “bring jobs back to Americans.” In terms of security, Trump would focus more on the ISIS threat and less on the Asia Pacific region – even saying he will make allies like the Philippines pay up for security upkeep. With the way both President Duterte and Donald Trump sound, you can already see a potential ‘fistfight.’

A Hillary Clinton win, on the other hand would be good for the Philippines for varying reasons. Having visited the country several times – both as First Lady and State Secretary – she has developed strong connections with Filipinos. By the way, outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, a high-ranking career diplomat, is very close to Hilary Clinton, having worked with her for many years. Philip is expected to be working closely with Clinton if and when she wins.

From the Philippine Star on 16 October.

Philippine lawmaker wants Trump banned after labelling the country a ‘Terrorist Nation’

A lawmaker has called on the House of Representatives to bar United States presidential candidate Donald Trump from entering the country for his recent remarks against the Philippines.

In his House Resolution No.43, Albay Rep. Jose “Joey” Salceda said he seeks to ban Trump from entering the country for being “inimical to the national interest.” He said the Republican presidential candidate’s recent tirade against immigrants, which included the Philippines among “terror nations” is unreasonable.

“While Donald J. Trump has clearly generated impressions not conducive to public good and has shown disrespect or makes offensive utterances to the Filipino people. Be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, that the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation refuse Donald J. Trump, be permanently refused entry into the Philippines,” the House resolution read.

From Philippine Star on 8 August.

Clinton ‘better’ than Trump for Philippines, economic manager says

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is “better” for the Philippines than her Republican rival, Donald Trump since she will provide policy continuity, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers said Tuesday.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia echoed local businessmen’s fears that Trump’s protectionist policies could hurt remittances from overseas Filipinos and US firms’ outsourcing operations in the Philippines.

“I think Clinton is better. More continuity from Obama, because Obama has been campaigning with her,” Pernia told reporters here.

“The US, under Trump” will be a protectionist, inward-looking American economy and it will impact in trade and investments,” he said.

From ABS CBN on 8 November.

More: What will become of Trump Tower Manila if Donald Trump is banned from the Philippines?

Trump lovers (sort of)

Shares soar for Philippine firm building ‘Trump Tower’

A Philippine property firm which is building a skyscraper with US presidential election winner Donald Trump bucked the global stock market sell-off on Wednesday, with its shares rising 20 percent.

Century Properties, developer of the Trump-licensed Trump Tower in Manila, jumped from 60 centavos to 72 centavos (1.22 to 1.47 US cents) on the local stock market.

“It is all related to the connection to Trump,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director with local investment firm First Grade Finance.

From ABS CBN on 9 November.

The neutral

Philippines can work with Clinton or Trump: trade envoy

Either of the two candidates we’re quite familiar with both of them. I think we’ll have, not only an access, but a good dialogue with them. I expect our business relations with them will continue to be as robust as before… We look forward to a very exciting, continuous relationship with our brothers from America.

ABS CBN on 7 November. Writer: Jose Antonio, Philippines’ Special Envoy for Trade, Investment and Economic Affairs

And what does Duterte himself think of Trump?

When asked what he thought of the two contenders, [Duterte said] that Clinton would make a “good president,” while conceding that Trump, who has been likened to him, was at least a “good candidate.”

While this was reported only on Tuesday by the Philippine Star, it seems since the vote was announced, Duterte has swiftly become a Trump supporter.

What does Trump think of the Philippines?

When discussing Trump Tower Manila, he said:

“I’ve always loved the Philippines. I think it’s just a special place and Manila is one of Asia’s most spectacular cities. I know that this project will be second to none.”

Contradictory as always Mr. Trump – the next four years are certainly going to be interesting.

To our Philippine readers, let us know what you think in the comments!

Read next: 5 ways a Trump presidency could impact Asia