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US Government To Observe Duterte's First 100 Days As President

Digong might need to please the country's big brother
by Andrei Medina | Jun 8, 2016
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The United States will be closely watching the first 100 days of Rodrigo Duterte as the country's top official when he officially assumes the presidency later this month.

This is according to Ernest Bower, a senior adviser for the Southeast Asia Program who said Duterte's initial moves will be vital to Philippine-US ties.

"What we are watching is who he selects to be in his Cabinet. What his first 100 days would look like, what actions he takes particularly around things like the response to the arbitral case in The Hague," he told the Inquirer.

Bower added that these are the key issues the US would be paying attention to instead of the incoming head of state's usual controversial statements like the one on media killings and catcalling.

"Those are things that will tell the story. I don't put too much stock in the things that he said recently," he said.

Bower doesn't see Duterte walking away from the country's partnership with the US anytime soon, since there is nothing to be gained from this path.

"There is no reason to believe that a new leader of the Philippines would sacrifice all those good things to move into a direction that would put the Philippines in a less secure and less economically prosperous position," he added.

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Still, he acknowledged the irony of the situation especially since the relations between the two allies, which have been improved under the Aquino administration, are at an all-time high.

"It is ironic that we are watching because if you ask leaders in Washington right now, they would say the US-Philippine relationship is at a high point," said Bower.

The country is currently relying on the US for support amid its ongoing dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea maritime row.

 

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