US expat group in Manila rejects Trump administration during presidential visit

Published:  14 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, India
As Donald Trump flies back to Washington after his Asian trip, a group of American expats living in the Philippines are expressing their opposition to his presidency.

The group’s chosen name of TeamMuellerManila says it all about their allegiance against the Trump administration. It’s named for Robert Mueller, the chief of a US investigation into Russia’s collusion with the Trump campaign and Trump himself during the presidential race. The group announced in a statement that it ‘stands in solidarity with our Filipino family both in the USA and overseas’.

Jeremy Slagle, spokesperson for the group, told reporters they’re in strong opposition to the Trump administration’s unacceptable authoritarian tendencies. More importantly, they’re claiming racism and corruption are now totally out of control, having escalated since Trump was sworn in as president. They’re strenuously denying the sexist and racist rhetoric Trump uses as normal, thus dragging it into the mainstream dialogue.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, a report from the US State Department included the Philippines in a list of five countries which had the most terrorist attacks, rating the country along with Pakistan, Iraq, India and Afghanistan as having 55 per cent of the year’s total of 11,072 attacks. As a response, Trump listed the country as one of a total of nine ‘terrorist countries’. The slur caused anger amongst both Filipinos and expats living in the Philippines, with the group slating it as a ‘racist remark.

In an interview, Slagle made it clear that the group would not be involved in any public demonstrations as they are simply foreign residents, but are encouraging other expats to register to vote in the USA’s 2018 mid term elections as a way to open the door for a future impeachment strategy. According to media reports, Trump failed to make any mention to Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte about his controversial anti-drugs programme which has resulted in a huge number of extra-judicial killings of drug users in addition to smugglers and sellers.
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