MANILA— Some Pinoy netizens who rooted for Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race took to social media to air their frustrations at the completion of one "squad" they would rather not see.
"#Squadgoals," they wrote with virtual tongue-in-digital-cheek, as they posted edited images of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with incoming US President Donald Trump, and fellow heads of state Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Xi Jinping of China.
However, some said that the so-called "squad" might actually be a good thing, as they are all "strong" leaders, and their similarities might finally allow their countries to get along.
Controversy erupted when Duterte repeatedly criticized the Philippines' traditional ally, the US, after the US Department of State expressed concern over alleged extra-judicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines arising from the new administration's war on drugs.
Duterte congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, and said in a statement that 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."
Trump, like Duterte, was similarly pictured in international media and social media posts as strongly opinionated and a firebrand, with policies aiming to "make America great again" by "turning [the country] inwards," and building up its defenses against outsiders and possible threats.
In recent months, Duterte has made a foreign policy "pivot towards Asia," strengthening ties with neighboring countries including China.