Philippine President Relents Following US Election

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte struck a newly conciliatory tone toward the United States in a speech delivered to a Filipino audience Nov. 9 during a visit to Malaysia. The apparent cause of his shift was the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the US on Tuesday. “I would like to congratulate Mr. Donald Trump. Long live,” Duterte said, according to Reuters. “We are both making curses. Even with trivial matters we curse. I was supposed to stop because Trump is there. I don’t want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won.” Duterte’s identification with Trump and his use of explicit language stands in stark contrast to his open criticism of President Barack Obama, whom Duterte has insulted with obscenities on several occasions this year. Explaining his recent call to end joint military drills with the US, Duterte said, “They talk as if we are still the colonies.” The Philippines was a colonial possession of the US from 1898 until its independence in 1946. Duterte did not make any concrete declarations relating to military training or the presence of US forces in the Philippines.