Commentary: How the U.S. poll results will affect Pinoys

Attendees celebrate during U.S. President Barack Obama's election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Philip …

On November 6 (November 7 in the Philippines), Americans voted for their president, vice-president, 33 senators, and all of their congressmen.

The whole world awaits the outcome with bated breath, (and U.S. President Barack Obama is already deemed the winner) knowing that the leadership choice in the world’s only superpower will have a major, if not decisive, impact on the rest of the world. The Philippines, with more than enough historical, economic, political and social ties with its former colonizer, is no exception.

Related story: Barack Obama wins second term 

In a personal way and also within the context of state affairs, Filipinos will be affected. For one, there are already at least 3.4 million Filipino-Americans or 1.1 percent of the U.S. population, making them the second largest Asian minority group.

These Fil-Ams also remits to the Philippines a substantial percentage of their income, providing a major source of spending money to their families, and incidentally fuelling a large Philippine service business sector and real estate boom, and cushioning the effects of the global financial crisis.

Other major economic ties are the rapidly developing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, tourism, electronics, and the other businesses in the Philippines that cater to the US market or trade.

In terms of political ties, the US and Philippine governments have always been close to each other whether a Republican or Democrat is at the helm of the former. Or, for that matter, whoever is at the head of the Philippine government.  American support or approval, among the political elite, is still a much-sought-after political capital, though not as strong as four decades ago.

In the present border dispute with China, the U.S. stance of support for an ally and its own power projection in the Southeast Asian region enjoys the popular approval of many Filipinos and is greatly appreciated by the Aquino government. After all, it allows for elbow room for negotiating with China.

Related story: Billionaire says Obama victory means 'sensible politics'

Culturally, many Filipinos consider the country, wistfully it seems, as a special friend of the United States and therefore allow wide latitude for the latter’s behavior in the country. The American Dream is still a relevant aspiration for many Filipinos despite the nationalistic pride that remain at the core of its national identity.

Within the context of a historically bipartisan foreign policy regarding Philippines by the Democrats and the Republicans, there is not much change that the U.S. presidential election outcome will have on the country. The winning president will still pursue American global interests based on its superpower status and its appraisal of its own interests in the country and the Southeast Asia region.

However, there will be changes in the nuances of this policy. An expected major change if the Republicans win is the return to a more aggressive stance akin to the Bush doctrine of preemptive strikes against potential enemies and promoting democratic regime change. The present Obama stress on diplomacy and building coalitions will be put on the back-burner.

The Philippine government and the ordinary Filipino will have to respond to the nuances and act accordingly from the point of view of the country’s interests. Will the Aquino government do it?

Related stories:

America rejoices at Obama victory

Factbox: Quotes from the US Presidential elections


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

  • No apology, but Noy seeks understanding
    No apology, but Noy seeks understanding

    There was no apology, but President Aquino yesterday expressed regret, took “full responsibility” and appealed to the nation for “deepest understanding” for the Jan. 25 Mamasapano raid in which dozens died, including 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. “To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation, it is with abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding,” Aquino said in a speech before the 246 new graduates of …

  • MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician
    MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician

    Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is grateful for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s praise and presidential endorsement, but says he is not a politician. In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the search for The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines 2015 Wednesday night, Pangilinan dismissed the idea of running for president in the 2016 elections. “I’m not a politician, I’m just an ordinary business person,” he added. Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as a presidential candidate …

  • No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP
    No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not suspending its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf, New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless groups during the Holy Week, an official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP public affairs office chief, said the AFP leadership is leaving it up to area and division commanders whether to raise the alert status in preparation for the Holy Week. Those deployed in areas where there are ongoing law enforcement operations against terrorist groups …

  • Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP
    Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP

    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to investigate a human rights lawyer’s claim of harassment, including surveillance, by several military officers. In a 22-page decision, the former Special Sixth Division of the appellate court granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data of Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon. The CA ordered the AFP to identify the officers behind the surveillance and file charges against them. The CA ruling said …

  • Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP
    Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP

    President Aquino vowed yesterday to dismantle the culture of factionalism or the bata-bata system within the Philippine National Police as he continued the search for the next PNP chief. Speaking at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) commencement exercises here, the President said the country needed solidarity among leaders and members of the police force so that the policemen would be effective protectors of Filipinos. “Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: …

  • Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl
    Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl

    Retire and invest in real estate in the Philippines, especially now that the country has made it to the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. This is the message being spread by the Philippine embassy in Washington, with Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. leading the refrain in meetings with various Filipino-American communities in the US. In his talks, Cuisia said that an affordable cost of living as well as warm climate and people are just some of the things that make the Philippines a top …

  • PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson
    PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson

    The stigma of being a namesake of the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre did not prevent Cadet First Class Andal Ampatuan III from entering and graduating from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). Ampatuan III, now with a rank of police inspector, is a grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. The younger Ampatuan was among the 246 graduates of the PNPA “Lakandula” Class of 2015. Ampatuan III’s mother is Bai Rebecca Ampatuan, a daughter of the …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options