Here’s what Duterte should do in the opening days of the Trump era.
First, send a nice congratulatory letter. And declare a moratorium on cursing. He should stop dropping F-bombs on the White House occupant. Those intercontinental expletives he fires do no good.
Second, tap VP Leni as the Republic’s representative to his inaugural. If the No.1 can’t make it, then it should be the No. 2. Anyone with a lower rank will convey the message that we are stuck in the Chinese orbit and have downgraded our Washington DC presence.
Third, consult advisers on how to reboot PH-US relations taking two new factors into consideration: The ascendancy of Trump and our assumption of an independent foreign policy. Trump’s victory opens a new chapter in PH-US relations which we should shape to our advantage.
Whether Duterte will have a ‘bromance’ with Trump is up to both of them, for as long as the defined national interest is served, and comes ahead of conjoining personal interests.
Trump’s victory will only open an uncharted territory in PH-US relations if we do not plan ahead.