Activists wary of Trump-Duterte relationship, US interest in the Philippines
SAN FRANCISCO — The activists cite that ever since the visit of President Donald Trump to the Philippines in November, it has emboldened President Rodrigo Duterte to become ever more hardline on the war on drugs and his counter insurgency program.
For these Fil-Ams and their advocates, it means Trump is securing US interests in the region.
“I do think there is a risk especially with the US imperialism and militarism that our president here is supporting the fascism that’s happening over there. They want all of this to come from the top down,” said Rev. Sadie Stone.
Activists cite Trump’s own words back in November to how he feels about the Philippines.
“And now we have a very, very strong relationship with the Philippines, which is really important — less so for trade, in this case, than for military purposes. It’s called the most prime piece of real estate from a military standpoint.”
To which recently, Trump doesn’t seem to let up on those plans.
“His State of the Union address recently actually underscores that he intends to dominate the world with US military in order to push through new-liberal economic agenda and it looks like duterte is falling in line with that,” said Rhonda Ramiro, Bayan USA.
These activists also point out how Duterte — who was critical to former President Barack Obama — is developing a positive partnership with president Trump.
“It looks like Duterte was lashing out at Obama for criticizing the war on drugs, for criticizing human rights. And now that Trump is praising him obviously he likes that. He wants that praise.”
With the recent White House invitation to Duterte, activists say Duterte can expect the same protest-filled greeting that Trump had in the Philippines.