‘Biden’s ascendancy, once believed to be highly unlikely, may bring certain changes
to official US relations with the Philippines.’
TODAY, January 20, Joe Biden will finally take his oath as the 46th President of the United States. And Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the 49th Vice President and make history: she will be the first woman and first woman of color to rise to that post. Of course, she isn’t the first woman to land on a national ticket: In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was Democrat Walter Mondale’s VP choice and Sarah Pailin was the 2008 VP candidate of Republican John McCain. And, of course, Hillary was the 2016 top of the ticket for the Democrats.
Half of America will be rejoicing while the other half will be sulking, many believing in their heart of hearts that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.
He had been saying, if you recall, that he would only lose if he were to be cheated. He said that in 2016 and said it again in 2020, sounding so very Filipino.
Biden’s ascendancy, once believed to be highly unlikely, may bring certain changes to official US relations with the Philippines. He was Vice President to Barack Obama, the very president who, near the end of his term, was subjected to curses by President Duterte just as the latter was beginning his. Duterte, of course, kept saying how he liked Trump, even endorsing the re-electionist during the campaign. Now, with Biden in the Oval Office, one should not be too surprised if the relationship between Manila and Washington DC becomes a little frosty.
But the Obama insults wouldn’t be the main reason why.
China will remain a major bone of contention between the formerly close and chummy allies. No matter who is at the helm, a US administration will see China as its number one threat. And any foreign administration that the US sees as “enabling” China’s rise will be marked in the eyes of the US defense and security establishment.
In Southeast Asia we may not be the most pro-China (Laos might be the winner), but we are the most significant given the fact that we are right along the disputed waters of the South China Sea. And I can imagine how we get double red marks given how we used to be “America’s brown brother” in Asia.
One more thing: historically, Democrats, more than Republicans, are the more active human rights advocates. Which puts pressure on governments around the world that are confronted with accusations of human rights violations.
So in some respects it wasn’t that good for the PRRD administration that Donald Trump lost. But politics being what it is, let’s see how things pan out.
One thing for sure: it won’t be wise to do a new round of Obama curses any time soon.