The US in the 2016 Philippines Election

This special feature highlights how the US is discussed by the candidates of the Philippines 2016 Presidential Election, which took place on May 9, 2016.

Explore each candidate's background and experience in the US, as well as his or her positions on US-related issues.

Lead Researcher: Melissa Newcomb

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Jejomar Binay - Overview

Background, US Experience, and Connections 73 years old, Binay's parents were middle-class, a librarian and a school teacher. He was orphaned at the age of 9 and adopted by his uncle, Ponciano Binay. Grew up in …

Rodrigo Duterte - Overview

Background, US Experience, and Connections 70 years old, mother was a school teacher, father was a provincial governor. [Source] Graduated with a BA in 1968 in Political Science at Lyceum of the Philippines and his law degree …

Grace Poe - Overview

Background, US Experience, and Connections Endorsed by former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. [Source] 47 years old, Poe was found as an infant in a church and adopted by famous actors Susan Roces and Fernando Poe …

Mar Roxas - Overview

Background, US Experience, and Connections Supported by current President Aquino. [Source] 58 years old, comes from one of the country’s richest families and his grandfather was president of the Philippines in the 1940s. His campaign narrative has …

Miriam Santiago - Overview

Background, US Experience, and Connections 70 years old, eldest of seven siblings to a father who was a lawyer and a mother who was an educator. [Source] Known for her intellectual prowess, has a large following among …

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Rodrigo Duterte - EDCA

Duterte has publicly opposed the Visiting Forces Agreement which allows the entry of U.S. troops in the country and once claimed that he rejected the request of the United States to make Davao a center …

Miriam Santiago - South China Sea

“The government seems to have grown complacent on the issue of the West Philippine Sea dispute, confident that the international tribunal now hearing the memorial it has filed against China will rule in its favor.” …

Jejomar Binay - South China Sea

Binay calls for cooperation with China on the South China Sea territorial dispute to improve trade relations: “China has money, we need capital." [Source] April 12, 2015“[EDCA] comes after all on the heels of heightened …

Rodrigo Duterte - South China Sea

Duterte speaking to visiting military attachés, including those from the United States and China, during a discussion of the South China Sea territorial: “America would never die for us. If America cared, it would have …

Grace Poe - EDCA

Speaking to US Ambassador Philip Goldberg at a forum organized by Rotary Club Manila: "I'm sorry to say this Mr. Ambassador but I know the US is our ally. But we cannot fault [the Philippines] …

Grace Poe - South China Sea

“We really need to continue with our arbitration case. China and the Philippines are both signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. On the other hand, our relationship with China …

Grace Poe - Filipino Americans

Shortly before absentee voting began, Poe released a video encouraging Filipinos in America to pursue dual-citizenship between the US and the Philippines: “I encourage the more than 4 million of you living and working in …

Mar Roxas - Trans-Pacific Partnership

“Our entry into this international agreement [the TPP] is not automatic. We must first assess what the plusses and minuses are for us.” [Source] November 23, 2015"Here's the political reality for any of you who've …

Mar Roxas - EDCA

On the Supreme Court and Justice in the Philippines: “The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement allows foreign entities to preposition logistics within our shores; some quarters are raising concerns whether such an agreement can be entered …

Mar Roxas - South China Sea

“There will be increasing competition between the US and China. It will be felt in the West Philippines Sea.” [Source] November 2, 2015 In reference to the final decision-making on the Philippines’ case against China over …

Jejomar Binay - Trans-Pacific Partnership

On joining regional trade agreements such as the TPP:“Any move for integration will certainly be beneficial for the Philippines. Considering the integration countries who are enjoying a lot of economic growth will have a lot …

Miriam Santiago - EDCA

Drafted a resolution in Senate that EDCA go through Senate review which was approved by 14 Senators, including Grace Poe in November 2015. [Source] On EDCA and protection from China: “You know, these diplomatic ins and …

Jejomar Binay - EDCA

“We, therefore, view the recently signed Enhanced Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, as an important pillar of our regional security policy. As well as an important response mechanism to humanitarian and natural disasters. A stronger American …