Trump's not gung-ho stance on human rights may be good for PH-US ties, says Heydarian
MANILA - A political analyst believes that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has to be more careful with his tirades against the United States, now that it has elected a more temperamental president.
Speaking on ANC, political analyst Richard Heydarian said Duterte should watch what he says against the US, since its incoming president Donald Trump is known as someone who does not take insults lightly.
"I'm worried with Trump because unlike Obama, he's not known for someone who has a very good temperament. He's known to be very prickly. I'm not sure Donald Trump will take the tirades of Duterte, if not personal insults of Duterte, the way that Obama has taken it," he said.
"So President Duterte has to be much more careful when dealing with United States under a Trump presidency," Heydarian added.
Heydarian also said that Trump, who promised to "make America great again," will most likely react negatively should Duterte insult him or the US.
"Do you think a person running on that campaign slogan will just sit back when a person from a small allied country like the Philippines insults him?" he said.
On the other hand, Heydarian said Trump is "very transactional," which may make dealing with Duterte easier.
"Donald Trump is very transactional, in terms of how he views international relations, and I think he's not a person who's very gung-ho in advocating human rights and democracy, I really doubt that. So this could actually be a good point for the Philippines because Duterte and Trump may not need to waste so much time, or may not engage so much on his war on drugs or human rights record. So Trump will approach Duterte from a much more transactionalist point of view, like, what is there out for us in dealing with the Philippines," he said.
He added that Trump also does not have a very strong position against China.
"Probably he will not try to push Duterte against China or in favor of US. I mean, probably Trump, if he feels that the South China Sea is not something of core interest or of national interest for the United States, he may develop a much more isolationist and disengaged policy towards Asia," Heydarian added.
"So probably that would be a good thing for the Duterte administration because the last thing the Duterte administration wants at this point is US interference in his policy towards China," also said.
Trump, the 70-year-old Republican nominee, was elected the 45th president of the United States after securing 289 electoral votes over Clinton's 218, according to CNN's count.
In his congratulatory message, Duterte said he "looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law."