US trip for President Duterte good for PH
January 24, 2020 - Friday 4:01 AM by MDM
Were it put to vote, one decision that Filipinos would mostly likely want President Duterte to make is a trip to the United States itself. This is significant for several reasons. First, the invitation comes from no less than US President Donald Trump himself for Duterte to attend the US-ASEAN special summit in Las Vegas in March.
Second, the invitation is not limited to the Philippine President but also to the leaders of the ASEAN countries. In short, it will be meeting among peers on matters of mutual regional interest.
Third, Duterte’s visit will put him in good standing with the White House for reciprocating Trump’s visit to Manila in November 2017.
As international relations go, that visit can be interpreted as a vote of confidence by Trump for Duterte, an indifferent American media notwithstanding. It stands to reason that Duterte is a friend or ally, or both.
And should the occasion arise, it could provide the Philippine President the opportunity to generate support for his major programs that sought to get his country over the hump. It will be an opportunity to attract American investors to Mindanao itself, now that martial law has ceased to exist.
The invitation from Trump also comes at a time when President Duterte is enjoying one of the highest trust ratings accorded him by his countrymen. In short, they would encourage him in taking that trip to Las Vegas not only to visit the United States but to exchange ideas with his American and ASEAN counterparts.
It would be a chance to take a second look at global concerns as seen from American perspective.
Finally, this would give President Duterte the rare chance to meet with Filipino communities who make up one of the largest nationalities earning their bread and butter in the United States. It will be a chance to explain to Fil-Americans the real score on why illegal drugs, corruption, and violent extremism should be prevented at all cost from their destroying their homeland. It will be a chance of a lifetime that majority of Fil-Ams will gladly look forward to.
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