THE Philippines has suddenly become part of the American election campaign with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump naming us as one of nine “terrorist nations” whose people, he said, should not be allowed entry into the United States.
Trump was speaking at a political rally in Portland, Maine, when he again hit out at immigrants whom he sees as a danger to American security. “We’re letting people come in from terrorist nations who should not be allowed because you can’t vet them. He mentioned the following countries: Syria, Iraq, and Yemen of the Middle East; Somalia and Morocco of Africa; Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan of central Asia; and the Philippines of Far East Asia.
Before this, Trump had named Mexicans as people he would ban from entering the US if he gets elected president, describing many of the immigrants from this country south of the border as gangsters, drug addicts, and rapists. He had also proposed to ban Muslim immigrants from any nation. Last Thursday, he expanded his list of unwanted foreigners, naming nine other countries, including the Philippines.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar commented: “It is ironic for Mr. Trump to say disparaging remarks about the Philippines considering his major real estate ‘brand’ investment in Makati called Trump Tower.” No further official comment should be made.
The Republican candidate has been fast and loose in criticizing people of all kinds – minorities, women, judges, even some of his fellow Republicans. Leaders in some Western European nations have expressed concern over his threat to turn his back on America’s decades-long commitment to help defend them against aggression. The Democrats have naturally criticized him severely, but lately even many leaders of his own Republican Party have announced the unthinkable – support for the other party’s presidential candidate.
There are still three months before the US November elections and anything can still happen. This has been a rather unusual election season in the US. We will continue to follow it but it might be best for our own officials to keep off the increasingly controversial campaign and leave Republican candidate Trump alone with his growing number of targets in the US and in the world.