MANILA - Whoever wins the United States presidential election will have to "play hardball" with the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte pushes for an independent foreign policy, a political analyst said Wednesday.
Duterte earlier announced the Philippines' "separation" from its traditional ally, and has called off military exercises and joint patrols between Manila and Washington after US officials criticized his intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
"There is a changing foreign policy in the Philippines and the new president will have to deal with it. It's a question of whether or not the new US president can accept that kind of change," political analyst Ramon Casiple said during the US Embassy's Presidential Elections Watch Party here.
Duterte has also criticized the US for "treating the Philippines like a dog on a leash" and called out its officials for historical abuses Americans committed against Filipinos.
Senator Leila de Lima, who also attended the Watch Party, said having a "lady president" would "help mend ties" between the two long-time allies.
"Her expertise would come a long way in trying to fix the friction at the moment between the Philippines and the US due to the attitude of the Philippine president," De Lima said.
Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton is one of the architects of the US pivot to Asia, while Republican candidate Donald Trump rallies behind a protectionist policy that prioritizes Americans and limits opportunities for immigrants.
For more updates on the US polls, visit ABS-CBN's US Presidential Elections 2016 page.