Trade, immigration, Duterte among topics at Andanar town hall

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News


LOS ANGELES — Fresh from his trip to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration last week, Philippine press secretary Martin Andanar visited the Filipino community in Los Angeles.

Community leaders and members of the media had a chance on Monday to ask burning questions — from the war on drugs, to the Philippines delegations working visit during the inauguration.

Many questions also surrounded Philippine-US trade ties, on a day president Donald Trump cancelled the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“Hindi pa natin alam kung anong policies ni President Donald Trump. He did mention the American first policy, and alam natin President Duterte also has the same policy — which is to advance the interest of the Filipino first,” said Andanar, who is Philippine presidential communications secretary.

While the Philippines was not a part of the partnership deal, it’s a policy that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was against — but he has yet to react to Trump’s move.

“The Trans Pacific Partnership was an idea floated and forwarded by President Barack Obama, and it was during the election here, during the campaign when Trump was already vocal about going against TPP — and just to put things in perspective, we are not part of that TPP group,” Andanar said.

Filipinos wonder what the Philippine government will do if Trump does live up to his campaign promises of immigration enforcement, and deporting undocumented immigrants.

“It is our policy as an ASEAN country not to interfere with the policies of the governments of other countries. Our President cares for any Filipino, not only in the Philippines, but around the world. He cares for them,” Andanar told press.

“And if you’re asking me what our policy is right now… we have to respect the new administration they are still in a transition. We have to wait and see which policies they will push.

One big question Filipinos wanted to ask is when President Duterte will come to the US, to which the press secretary replied, “I do not want to preempt the plans of the department of foreign affairs plans ni Congen. They are fixing that. The [Consulate General is] in New York, LA and so, but it will come.”

Both Presidents Duterte and Trump have gotten along so far, with both their strong personalities and ideals-wise.

With the Philippines as host of the ASEAN this year, there will be plenty of chances to see how the two will work together on a global scale.



One Comment

Leave a Reply



  • Mario
    25 January 2017 at 4:43 am - Reply

    Day1, Trump signed 3 exec order,(1) withdrawal from TPP, (2)banned Federal money to international group that conduct abortion(killing babies) (3)Freezed hiring of Fed employees except the military and law enforcement. Trump, a master trade negotiator his trade policies will be BI-LATERAL(one on one) reason;under TPP, it is hard to get out from trade agreement because all members will sign….Under previous administration on Parenthood, female can just go to Mexico for abortion,known as the “Mexico City Policy” here in USA, have sex, enjoy life, get pregnant, fly to Mexico and kill the baby there, America will take care of the bills,come back, enjoy again. Trump said stop sending Million USD taxpayers money…Day2 Keystone XL pipeline.5 exec order signed include “only American steel pipes to be used”.Trump met car manufacturers CEO’s, promised to reduce taxes on middle class and corporate tax from 35% to 15-20 %. Met all Union leaders, Trump asked them to submit policies, regulations that kill jobs.Only 3 days Trump had accomplished more than any President in 35 years.Tomorrow it will be immigration policies.