'Challenging times' ahead for Duterte admin if Biden wins in US polls — analyst

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
'Challenging times' ahead for Duterte admin if Biden wins in US polls â analyst
This combination of file pictures created on September 28, 2020 shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden(L) speaking in Tampa, Florida on September 15, 2020 and US President Donald Trump speaking during an event for black supporters at the Cobb Galleria Centre September 25, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia. One US presidential candidate wants to raise taxes, the other lower them. One will pursue an ongoing trade war, the other may throttle back tensions. And neither will get much done without Congress's approval. The proposed economic policies of President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden offer starkly different views of the world's largest economy and its global role, ahead of the tense November 3 election.
JIM WATSON, Brendan Smialowski / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — A political analyst on Tuesday said a win for US presidential candidate Joe Biden could spell "challenging times" for the Duterte government that had distanced itself from Washington in the last four years. 

Voting across states in America are currently underway, with local media there reporting that over 100 million have turned out to polling centers amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

In a television interview, Prof. Dindo Manhit of think tank Stratbase ADR Institute said part of Biden's proposed foreign policy would be to "reinvigorate democracies" around the world that could meet resistance in the Philippines. 

"If you would look at details of the core platform of Biden, there might be challenging times for the president," he told the program "The Chiefs" on One News. "They're proud of their belief that they need to go back to the core of the Democratic Party which is how they can lead in the world."

President Rodrigo Duterte has had a complicated relationship with America in his term, turning the country away from its longtime ally to pivot to other nations such as China and Russia. 

His anti-illegal drug campaign that has seen thousands killed has earned criticism from US lawmakers, as well as the imprisonment of his staunch critic Sen. Leila de Lima.

In January of this year, Washington cancelled the US visa of Sen. Bato dela Rosa for his role as implementer of Duterte's drug war as police chief.

Duterte has since sought to retaliate by revoking of the decades-long Visiting Forces Agreement between the two countries, only to be suspended in July.

But Manhit said a Biden administration, along with the Democratic Party retaining control in US Congress, could be "more aggressive" in addressing the human rights situation in the Philippines. 

"That's the challenge because the Democratic Party and not only Biden are known for championing democratic values around the world. That would be a good thing to keep an eye on," he said in mixed English and Filipino. 

As for the maritime territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila in the West Philippine Sea, Manhit said Biden, if elected, could bring more countries to ensure a "rule-based security environment not only in the Philippines but in the region as well."

"Biden, being a former vice president of Barack Obama, would have learned their lessons [on] trying to give some space to China to become good global citizens," he said. "But what we have seen especially after the 2016 arbitral award is they cannot be good citizens and they will use their aggressive stance."

The Democratic Party nominee is running up against President Donald Trump who is seeking another four-year term after a shocking win in 2016 as a political outsider. Results of America's elections are usually known by the evening, or in the Philippines, by noon of November 4.

The country's election system is not by popular vote such as in many countries, but through the Electoral College, where candidates need to secure at least 270 electoral votes from states to clinch the presidency. 



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